NEW YORK — Dirk Nowitzki and Paul Pierce overcame slow starts to return to the All-Star game, but the lengthy runs of Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan are over.
Nowitzki was chosen Thursday to his 11th straight All-Star game, despite his lowest scoring average since his second NBA season. Pierce has come on after a slow start caused by a foot injury and was picked for the 10th time.
But Garnett wasn't chosen after 14 consecutive selections, and Duncan was left out after 13 in a row. Other All-Star regulars such as Ray Allen and Amare Stoudemire will be home, giving way to five first-timers: LaMarcus Aldridge, Marc Gasol, Andre Iguodala, Roy Hibbert, and Luol Deng.
Also headed to Orlando for the Feb. 26 game are Steve Nash, Tony Parker, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Love, Chris Bosh, Joe Johnson and Deron Williams.