Howard sets all-star vote record
ORLANDO, Fla. — He was the first to dress as Superman to win a dunk contest.
He's now the first player to get 3 million votes from fans.
Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard — who leads the NBA in rebounds, blocked shots and double-doubles — got a record 3,150,181 votes to lead this season's All-Star team, released yesterday.
The Feb. 15 game in Phoenix will mark the third All-Star trip for Howard and easily topped the previous record of 2,558,278 votes for Houston's Yao Ming in 2004.
"Wow, what a blessing," said Howard, the 6-foot-11 center who dressed in full Superman regalia, on the way to winning last year's slam dunk competition. "That is what I took it as, a blessing from God and then the fans."
Miami's Dwyane Wade (2,741,413), Detroit's Allen Iverson (1,804,649), reigning All-Star MVP LeBron James of Cleveland (2,940,823) and Boston's Kevin Garnett (2,066,833) also made the East squad.
Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers (2,805,397) was the West's top vote-getter, and will be joined by New Orleans' Chris Paul (2,134,798), Yao (2,532,958), Tim Duncan of San Antonio (2,578,168) and Amare Stoudemire of Phoenix (1,460,429).
FIRE COACH IVARONI
The Memphis Grizzlies have fired coach Marc Iavaroni after a 11-30 start.
Team spokesman Dustin Krugel confirmed Iavaroni's dismissal last night but would not say who would coach the Grizzlies tonight against the New York Knicks.
LAKERS 117, WIZARDS 97
LOS ANGELES — Andrew Bynum had 23 points and 14 rebounds, Pau Gasol added 18 points and host Los Angeles took a 72-47 halftime lead and was never threatened in cruising past Washington.
On the third anniversary of his franchise-record 81-point game against the Toronto Raptors, Kobe Bryant had 11 points, five assists and four rebounds in 28 minutes.