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Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Lopez replaces Rondo as All-Star

By Mike Mazzeo

Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez will be heading to Houston after all.

Lopez was selected by NBA commissioner David Stern to replace Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo on the Eastern Conference All-Star team, the league announced Wednesday.

This is Lopez's first All-Star selection. He is currently the only player in the NBA averaging at least 18 points, seven rebounds and two blocks per game. He leads all NBA centers in scoring (18.6 ppg) and ranks fourth in the league in Player Efficiency Rating (PER) behind only LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Chris Paul.

But despite being Brooklyn's most consistent player this season, Lopez finished 14th among East frontcourt players in the fan balloting and was not selected by the East coaches as a reserve. Many felt he was the biggest omission out of the players who were not selected.

The Nets (27-18) are 25-13 with Lopez in the lineup, but went just 2-5 without him when he missed seven games with a sprained foot.

The All-Star Game will be played in Houston on Sunday, Feb. 17.

Rondo injured his knee last Friday and will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL. The fans voted him in as an All-Star starter. The East head coach, who will be determined Sunday, will select Rondo's replacement in the starting lineup. Point guards Kyrie Irving of Cleveland or Jrue Holiday of Philadelphia are the likely candidates.

Lopez becomes the 13th All-Star in Nets franchise history.