Howard is leading vote-getter

Updated: May 6, 2009, 9:26 PM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard once again swatted away his competition.

Picked last month as the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year, he drew the most votes Wednesday for the league's All-Defensive Team.

Howard was joined by Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Chris Paul and Kevin Garnett on the first team.

Howard led the NBA by averaging 13.8 rebounds and 2.9 blocks this season. He got 27 votes for the first team, beating out Bryant's 24. Voting was done by coaches, who were not allowed to vote for players on their own team.

James, the NBA's MVP, finished second to Howard in defensive player of the year voting.

"It was a big goal of mine to become a better defensive player," James said. "I decided to take a little more onus on that end of the floor. It's humbling and a great feat for myself because I really enjoy that side of the floor. I thank the coaches for seeing that I picked up my game on that end. It's humbling.

"It's all about pride. I just take pride on that end of the court. I'm just as locked in on that end as I am on the offensive end," he said.

Tim Duncan, Dwyane Wade, Rajon Rondo, Shane Battier and Ron Artest were chosen for the second team.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press