Bryant, James to lead NBA all-stars, injured Yao voted in

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

LA Lakers' Kobe Bryant

WASHINGTON, Jan. 27 -- LA Lakers' Kobe Bryant earned his 13th straight NBA All-Star selection for the Feb. 20 game at home court Staples Center Arena against LeBron James's East team, with injured Chinese center Yao Ming among the West starters.

The other starters for the Western Conference announced Thursday were New Orleans Hornets guard Chris Paul, forwards Kevin Durant of Oklahoma City and Carmelo Anthony of Denver.

James will lead the Eastern side with Miami Heat teammate Dwyane Wade, Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard, forward Amare Stoudemire of the New York Knicks and point guard Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls.

With the NBA allowing fans to vote for the starters, Yao picked up 1.14 million votes to be voted in as a starter for the eight time despite his season-ending ankle surgery earlier this month.

The Houston Rockets player beat Lakers' rising star Andrew Bynum easily by more than 170,000 votes.

In 22 games with the reigning NBA champion Lakers, Bynum is averaging 11.4 points, and 7.5 rebounds per game, while Yao just played parts of five games.

The all-star game, however, allows the coaches to chose reserves. Yao's replacement will be announced next Thursday.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

LeBron James

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Yao Ming