01/22/2015 07:24 EST | Updated 03/25/2015 05:59 EDT

Toronto Raptors Guard Kyle Lowry Is Officially An All-Star

The fans have spoken: Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry is an all-star.

Lowry made a late surge in fan balloting and will start for the Eastern Conference at the NBA all-star game. The scrappy Raptors guard passed Miami's Dwyane Wade in voting and will start alongside Washington's John Wall, the first time the East has had two first-time starters at guard since 2000.

Lowry finished with 805,290 votes to rally from a deficit of more than 100,000 votes at the last balloting update to overtake Wade. Fans rewarded him with his first all-star appearance for his hard-nosed play in leading the Raptors to a huge lead in the Atlantic Division. He's the first Raptor to start since Chris Bosh in 2008.


A video posted by Kyle Lowry (@kyle_lowry7) on

Lowry is averaging 19.8 points per game, 7.5 assists and 4.9 rebounds, career highs in all three categories.

Lowry and Wall's tandem is not the only first at this all-star game. Pau and Marc Gasol have been voted the first brothers to start in the NBA all-star game.

Pau Gasol of Chicago will start up front for the East along with Lebron James and Carmelo Anthony for the Feb. 15 game in New York. Memphis' Marc Gasol joins New Orleans' Anthony Davis and the Clippers' Blake Griffin in the West frontcourt.

Tom and Dick Van Arsdale played in the 1970 and 1971 games, but the Gasols — once traded for each other — are the first brothers chosen to start.

Wall earned his first appearance last year, and now he's earned his first start. The East hasn't had both its guards making their first start since Philadelphia's Allen Iverson and Charlotte's Eddie Jordan in 2000.

Fans had to vote for two guards and three frontcourt players. The reserves will be picked by the head coaches in each conference and be announced next Thursday.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who had previously asked Canadians via Twitter to vote for Lowry, tweeted out his congratulations to the Raptors point guard after the vote was announced Thursday.

"Great work by all of Canada's basketball fans for helping to make @Klow7 an #NBAAllStarNYC starter. Congrats, Kyle," Harper wrote.

Toronto's DeMar DeRozan was seventh in fan voting among guards with 159,123 votes while Lou Williams finished ninth (82,135). Centre Jonas Valanciunas was seventh among frontcourt players (231,741).

Golden State's Stephen Curry made his own late surge to pass James as the overall leading vote-getter, the league announced Thursday. Kobe Bryant was also voted to start at West guard, though that's in jeopardy because of a torn right rotator cuff.

The star of the NBA-leading Golden State Warriors, Curry ended up with more than 1.5 million votes, more than 42,000 ahead of James, who had a 13,285-vote lead over the sharpshooter at the last update. Curry, who just two years ago was an all-star snub, becomes the first Warriors player elected to consecutive starts since Chris Mullin in 1991-92.

His partner in the backcourt is up in the air after the Lakers revealed Bryant's injury earlier Thursday. Though the severity of the injury is unknown, many rotator cuff injuries require surgery and several months of rehabilitation.

That could rule Bryant out of his 17th all-star appearance, second all-time behind Kareem Abdul Jabbar's 19. Bryant's first was in 1998 at Madison Square Garden, the site of this year's game.

Commissioner Adam Silver would name an injury replacement if needed, and coaches Steve Kerr (Golden State) of the West and Mike Budenholzer (Atlanta) of the East would determine who replaces an injured player in the lineup.


With files from The Associated Press


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