New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - The NBA's elite head to Madison Square Garden Sunday night for the 64th All-Star Game, the annual tradition of East versus West for midseason supremacy.
This year's edition does stem from the world's most-famous arena, however, the Barclays Center in Brooklyn hosted All-Star Saturday. The New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets co-host this weekend's festivities.
Injuries have ravaged this year's contest. Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers), Blake Griffin (Los Angeles Clippers) and Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans) were all voted as starters by the fans, but all three withdrew due to injuries. Miami's Dwyane Wade also elected to skip the game.
The Western Conference team righted some wrongs by adding Portland's Damian Lillard, Sacramento's DeMarcus Cousins and Dallas' Dirk Nowitzki. Atlanta's Kyle Korver was named to replace Wade.
Golden State's Steph Curry was the leading vote-getter and he'll have a familiar face with him in the starting lineup. Klay Thompson of the Warriors was named as a replacement starter, as was James Harden of the Houston Rockets and LaMarcus Aldridge of the Trail Blazers.
Head coach Steve Kerr, who has led the Warriors to the best record in the NBA, made the announcements about the new starters. Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol was the fifth starter voted to the Western Conference team.
The East was not nearly as decimated by injuries. LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers is back as a starter, alongside Chicago's Pau Gasol and hometown hero Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks in the frontcourt.
"To be able to start an All-Star Game in my home court, to represent New York in New York, one of the biggest stages in sports, for me to be that face, I'm honored to be here," said Anthony.
John Wall of the Washington Wizards and Kyle Lowry of the Toronto Raptors are the East's starting backcourt.
The Western reserves are: Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder; Chris Paul of the Clippers and Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs. Lillard, Cousins and Nowitzki were named to the team by commissioner Adam Silver.
Eastern reserves include four Atlanta Hawks - Korver, Jeff Teague, Paul Millsap and Al Horford; Miami's Chris Bosh; Cleveland's Kyrie Irving and Chicago's Jimmy Butler.
Atlanta Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer will lead the East team.
In 2014 at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, Irving was named the game's MVP thanks to a 163-155 victory for the Eastern Conference. Irving scored 31 points and handed out 14 assists.
Anthony made eight 3-pointers, an All-Star record, and finished with 30 points.
Durant and Griffin both scored 38 points, which was four shy of Wilt Chamberlain's 1962 record for points in the game.
Paul, Durant, Duncan and James are former All-Star Game MVPs and James has won the honor twice. Bryant has taken the title four times and Wade won the award in 2010.