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Paul Pierce left off Eastern Conference All-Star squad

For just the second time in 13 seasons, Paul Pierce [1] did not earn a spot on the Eastern Conference All-Star squad as the reserves were announced Thursday night on national television prior to the Celtics [2]‘ game vs. the Knicks [3].

Pierce is leading the Celtics in scoring at 18.9 points per game and has started all 41 games for the Celtics, but that wasn’t enough to win a spot on the team. Pierce didn’t make it in 2007 when his season was shortened due to a stress reaction in his foot. The last time a healthy Pierce was left off the All-Star team was 2001, just his third season in the NBA.

Joining starters Rajon Rondo [4], Dwyane Wade [5], LeBron James [6], Kevin Garnett [7] and Carmelo Anthony are five first-time All-Stars, including Tyson Chandler [8] (Knicks), Paul George (Pacers), Jrue Holiday (76ers), Kyrie Irving (Cavaliers [9]) and Joakim Noah [10] (Bulls). Miami’s Chris Bosh and Chicago’s Luol Deng, making his second consecutive All-Star appearance, round out the East reserves.

Joining Duncan as reserves in the West are LaMarcus Aldridge (Trail Blazers), James Harden [11] (Rockets), David Lee [12] (Warriors), Tony Parker [13] (Spurs), Zach Randolph [14] (Grizzlies [15]) and Russell Westbrook [16] (Thunder). It’€™s the first selection for Harden, in his first season with the Rockets. It’€™s the second All-Star nod for Lee, Randolph and Aldridge, while Westbrook earns his third consecutive trip to the All-Star Game. Parker is an All-Star for the fifth time in his career.

The 62nd NBA All-Star Game will be played at the Toyota Center in Houston on Feb. 17.