LeBron James of the Miami Heat and Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder lead their respective conferences, and are separated by only 21,854 votes, after the third returns of the NBA All-Star balloting.
James, the top overall vote-getter with 1,076,063 votes, is followed in the Eastern Conference by the Indiana Pacers' Paul George. Durant (1,054,209) is followed in the Western Conference by the Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant.
The 63rd NBA All-Star Game in New Orleans Arena will be on Sunday, Feb. 16.
Phoenix Suns guard Eric Bledsoe is out indefinitely and needs knee surgery, ESPN.com reported Thursday.
The Suns determined that Bledsoe needs a surgical procedure to repair cartilage in his right knee, according to ESPN sources. Bledsoe apparently suffered meniscus damage during his Dec. 30 return to Los Angeles to face the Clippers.
Bledsoe has missed the Suns' last four games with what the team said is a sprained knee. The 24-year-old is averaging 18.0 points, 5.8 assists and 4.3 rebounds per game.
The Philadelphia 76ers have assigned guard Lorenzo Brown to the Delaware 87ers of the NBA Development League, the team announced Thursday.
Brown (6-5, 186) was first assigned to the 87ers on Dec. 26 and was recalled on Jan. 6. He appeared in five D-League games, averaging 18 points, eight assists and five rebounds.
Brown has appeared in 15 games for the Sixers this season, averaging 3.2 points per game. (Editing by Frank Pingue)