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James Harden third, Joel Embiid fourth in second return on NBA All-Star Game voting

The race for three frontcourt spots among four players continues to heat up.

NBA: Los Angeles Clippers at Philadelphia 76ers Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports

The second round of voting for the 2023 NBA All-Star Game was released on Thursday morning. Once again, a pair of Philadelphia 76ers factor in prominently.

Joel Embiid dropped to fourth among the front court options, now behind Jayson Tatum. After the initial returns, Embiid narrowly led Tatum for the third spot. Embiid (3,248,733 votes) trails Tatum (3,281,124) by a little more than 32,000 votes.

Meanwhile, James Harden (1,571,039 votes) is holding steady in third among the guards. Jaylen (1,512,332) isn’t far behind, however. Kyrie Irving (3,024,833) and Donovan Mitchell (2,725,558) continue to dominate the top two.

As a reminder, fan vote comprises 50 percent of the equation, while players (25 percent) and media (25 percent) comprise the other half.

Embiid’s played 29 games this season. He’s second in the league in scoring behind Luka Doncic (34.2 points per game), averaging a career-high 33.6 points on 64.1 percent true shooting. Harden’s suited up for 25, averaging 21.8 points and 11.0 assists on 59.8 percent true shooting. He’d pace the NBA in assists per game, if he were eligible for the leaderboard (must play at least 70 percent of games, Harden is three short).

Both stars will have a chance to further their candidacies on Thursday night when they face the Oklahoma City Thunder inside Wells Fargo Center at 7 p.m.

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