Westbrook, Lowry named NBA all-star reserves

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook was named to the NBA all-star game for the eighth time in his brilliant career (AFP pic)

LOS ANGELES: Former most valuable player Russell Westbrook and Toronto Raptors star Kyle Lowry head the list of reserves announced on Thursday for the NBA all-star game.

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Westbrook received his eighth all-star selection while Lowry was chosen to his fifth straight game.

Westbrook was the MVP of the 2015 and 2016 all-star games.

The other reserves named Thursday include four first-time all-stars comprising Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons, Orlando Magic centre Nikola Vucevic, Denver Nuggets centre Nikola Jokic and Milwaukee Bucks forward Khris Middleton.

The seven reserves from both the East and West Conferences will join the 10 starters who were announced last week.

There is no East versus West format for this year’s game. The players’ names will now go into a hat and will be selected by captains LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers and Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks.

The defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors will have three all-stars, with reserve Klay Thompson joining starters Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant.

LaMarcus Aldridge’s selection as a reserve extends San Antonio’s streak of having at least one all-star to 21 consecutive years, the league’s longest active run.

One all-star missing is Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo, who underwent surgery earlier this week to repair a torn right quadriceps tendon.

The all-star game will be played February 17 in Charlotte, NC.