George replaces injured Cousins at NBA All-Star Game

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George was named on Sunday to replace injured New Orleans Pelicans center DeMarcus Cousins on Team LeBron for the 2018 NBA All-Star Game.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver made the selection to replace Cousins, who suffered a season-ending ruptured left Achilles tendon against the Houston Rockets on Friday night, according to an NBA press release.

The selection is the fifth overall and third in a row for George, who is averaging 21.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.17 steals per game in his first season with the Thunder.

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According to the NBA, George received the most voting points from NBA head coaches among Western Conference players who were not selected as reserves for the game.

Cousins, was who an All-Star selection for the fourth straight season, was voted to start in the game and drafted to Team LeBron last week by captain LeBron James.

The opposing All-Star team was drafted by Golden State’s Stephen Curry, who serves as captain for Team Stephen.

Toronto Raptors head coach Dwane Casey, whose team wrapped up the second best record in the Eastern Conference through Feb. 4, will select the player to replace Cousins in the starting lineup from the rest of the team’s backup players, including George.

Casey earned the honors to coach Team LeBron because Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens is ineligible, having coached in last year’s All-Star Game. Boston currently has the best record in the Eastern Conference at 35-15, with Toronto in second place at 33-15, four games better than third-place Cleveland’s 29-19 record.

Houston Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni will coach Team Stephen, with his team trailing Golden State in second place in the Western Conference standings. Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, like Stevens, is ineligible this year due to coaching in 2017.

The All-Star Game is set for 8 p.m. ET on Sunday, Feb. 18, at Staples Center in Los Angeles.