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Basketball Raptors' DeRozan named starter for hometown NBA All-Star Game

Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan looks to pass the ball during the second half against the Detroit Pistons, in Toronto, on Jan. 17, 2018.

Frank Gunn/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan will represent his second home when the NBA All-Star Game is in Los Angeles next month.

The Compton, Calif., native was named a starter for the NBA All-Star Game on Thursday for a second straight year. It will be DeRozan's fourth appearance at an all-star game. He started for the East team in 2017 and was named a reserve for the 2014 and 2016 games.

"Having the opportunity to play an NBA All-Star Game in my hometown is amazing, and being able to represent Toronto – my other home – makes it even better," DeRozan said. "It's a great honour to be selected as a starter again, and I want to thank my teammates and coaches, the fans across Canada, the media and the entire NBA community. I appreciate your votes."

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Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James will captain DeRozan's East team and Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors will lead the West. James and Curry received the most votes from fans in their respective conferences and will draft from a pool of the rest of the NBA's best for next month's game in Los Angeles.

The 28-year-old DeRozan is averaging a team-high 25.2 points a game for the Raptors this season.

DeRozan scored a single-game franchise-record 52 points earlier this season in an overtime win against the Milwaukee Bucks.

The format was changed from the traditional East versus West matchup for the first time after lacklustre games the past two seasons, when players made little attempt to defend and the West nearly scored 200 points in both of its victories.

Both James and Curry will make their first four picks from the pool of starters, but they don't have to stick to conference affiliation in choosing their rosters. The remainder of the starters from the Eastern Conference will be Boston's Kyrie Irving, Philadelphia's Joel Embiid and Milwaukee's Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Kevin Durant joins Curry from the NBA champion Warriors, while New Orleans also has two starters in Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins. Houston guard James Harden rounds out the starters, who were selected by a combination of fan, media and player voting.

The reserves, voted upon by the head coaches in each conference, will be announced on Tuesday, and the rosters selected by James and Curry will be unveiled next Thursday.

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