Sports News

Scott to coach Western All-Stars on home court

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Byron Scott of the New Orleans Hornets will coach the Western Conference at this year’s NBA All-Star Game, the league said on Thursday.

File photo shows New Orleans Hornets head coach Byron Scott in New Orleans, Louisiana October 31, 2007. Scott will coach the Western Conference at this year's NBA All-Star Game, the league said on Thursday. REUTERS/Sean Gardner

After the Dallas Mavericks were beaten 96-90 by the Boston Celtics on Thursday, the Hornets (32-13) clinched the best winning percentage in the West through February 3, earning Scott the privilege of coaching the conference.

The All-Star game will be played in New Orleans on February 17, meaning Scott will become the first to coach the event on his home court for 13 years.

Scott will join Boston’s Doc Rivers, who clinched head coaching honors for the Eastern Conference on January 21 when the Celtics (now 36-8) crushed the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden, 109-93.

Head coaches for the All-Star teams are based on teams with the best winning percentage in each conference.

With the game a little over two weeks away, talented guard Chris Paul and New Orleans team mate David West were among 14 players selected by the league’s coaches on Thursday as reserves for the contest.

Joining Paul and West are Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks, Steve Nash and Amare Stoudemire of the Phoenix Suns, Carlos Boozer of the Utah Jazz and Brandon Roy of the Portland Trail Blazers.

Eastern Conference reserves are Chauncey Billups and Richard Hamilton of the Detroit Pistons, Chris Bosh of the Toronto Raptors, Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison of the Washington Wizards, Joe Johnson of the Atlanta Hawks and Boston’s Paul Pierce.

Previously selected as starters for the East were Boston forward Kevin Garnett, Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James, Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard, New Jersey Nets guard Jason Kidd and Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade.

Forward Carmelo Anthony and guard Allen Iverson of the Denver Nuggets, Houston Rockets center Yao Ming, Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant and San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan will start for the West.

(Additional reporting by Gene Cherry in Wilson, North Carolina)

Writing by Steve Ginsburg in Phoenix; Editing by John O’Brien