LeBron James is undefeated in three games as an All-Star captain since the current format went into effect. David Zalubowski/Associated Press

LeBron James has faced Giannis Antetokounmpo as an opponent in the last three All-Star Games.

The Los Angeles Lakers’ star got him as a teammate this year.

James used the No. 1 overall pick on Antetokounmpo – the NBA’s two-time reigning MVP from Milwaukee – in the draft for Sunday’s All-Star Game in Atlanta. Kevin Durant, who will not play in the All-Star Game because of injury but still is the captain for Team Durant, took Brooklyn teammate Kyrie Irving with his first pick.

The other starters for Team LeBron will be Stephen Curry of Golden State, Luka Doncic of Dallas and Nikola Jokic of Denver. The other starters for Team Durant will be Joel Embiid of Philadelphia, 2020 All-Star MVP Kawhi Leonard of the Los Angeles Clippers, Bradley Beal of Washington and Jayson Tatum of Boston.

This is the fourth year of the NBA’s playing captain format for the All-Star Game. James is 3-0, beating teams captained by Curry in 2018 and Antetokounmpo in the last two seasons.

“I just try to pick players that can complement one another,” James said during the draft that was taped Wednesday and aired Thursday night on TNT. “When we’re on the floor, we’ll try to play the game the right way. It’s the All-Star Game, so there’s going to be some shenanigans out there. But for the majority of the game, we’re going to try to play the right way and come out with a win.”

Durant had the first pick of the reserve round and took another Brooklyn teammate, James Harden with the opening selection there. James’ first pick among the reserves was Damian Lillard of Portland, Durant followed by taking Devin Booker of Phoenix, and James countered by selecting Ben Simmons of Philadelphia.

“I wanted Ben Simmons. I wanted Ben,” Durant said.

The remaining Team Durant subs: Zion Williamson of New Orleans, Zach LaVine of Chicago, Julius Randle of New York, Nikola Vucevic of Orlando and Donovan Mitchell of Utah. James’ final selections were Chris Paul of Phoenix, Jaylen Brown of Boston, Paul George of the Los Angeles Clippers, Domantas Sabonis of Indiana and Rudy Gobert of Utah.

Mitchell and Gobert, respectively, were the last two players taken despite being the only All-Stars from the Jazz — who hit the break with the NBA’s best record at 27-9.


KNICKS 114, PISTONS 104: Julius Randle capped his All-Star first half with 27 points, 16 rebounds and seven assists, sending host New York into the break with a winning record.

RJ Barrett added 21 points to help the Knicks improve to 19-18. They have missed the playoffs for seven straight years but finished the first half in fifth place in the Eastern Conference.

WIZARDS 119, CLIPPERS 117: Bradley Beal scored 33 points and Washington pushed ahead with a late run to beat visiting Los Angeles.

Russell Westbrook had 27 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds. Washington has won eight of 11 heading into the All-Star break to move into the fringes of contention in the bunched Eastern Conference.

Kawhi Leonard scored 22 points, Patrick Beverley added 17 and Ivica Zubac had 13 points and 13 rebounds. Paul George was a late scratch because of dizziness.

NUGGETS 113, PACERS 103: Michael Porter Jr. scored 24 points and Nikola Jokic added 24 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists, leading Denver past Indiana.

Denver closed out the first half of the season with four straight road wins.

BUCKS 112, GRIZZLIES 111: Jrue Holiday hit a baseline jumper with two seconds remaining and Milwaukee escaped with the victory at Memphis.

Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks with 26 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists, and Khris Middleton added 22 points and 10 rebounds.

Ja Morant led Memphis with 35 points, 28 of them in the second half.

HEAT 103, PELICANS 93: Jimmy Butler had 29 points and nine assists, and Miami took advantage of Zion Williamson’s absence to win at New Orleans.

THUNDER 107, SPURS 102: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 33 points and Oklahoma City rallied in the second half to win at San Antonio.

SUNS 120, WARRIORS 98: Cameron Payne scored 17 points, Devin Booker added 16 and Phoenix Suns easily handled visiting Golden State, which played without Stephen Curry (rest), Draymond Green (ankle) and Kelly Oubre Jr. (wrist).

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