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2019 NBA All-Star Game: Derrick Rose ahead of James Harden in fan voting

Minnesota Timberwolves' Derrick Rose, right, lays up a shot as Atlanta Hawks' John Collins defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Dec. 28, 2018, in Minneapolis. | Jim Mone/Associated Press

Timberwolves guard Derrick Rose has had a career rebirth this season, but is it enough for him to earn a bid to this year’s NBA All-Star Game?

Fans seem to think so.

In the first NBA All-Star fan vote returns released Thursday, Rose was second only to Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry in the Western Conference guards poll. That means Rose — who tallied 698,086 votes in the first return — is beating out Rockets guard and reigning league MVP James Harden.

Yes, Rose has put on a show this season, such as when he scored a career-high 50 points against the Utah Jazz in October. But even though the former Bulls star is shooting a career-best 46.2 percent from the outside, it still comes as a surprise to the masses that he’s more than 150,000 votes ahead of Harden, who currently leads the NBA in scoring average at a career-best 33.3 points per game.

While there’s still plenty of time for Rose and Harden to switch spots in the polls — voting for fans, players and media ends on Jan. 21 — it’s still possible that Rose will find himself at his first All-Star Game since 2012.

As for the Bulls, Zach LaVine is their lone candidate to show up in the fan voting. He is currently seventh in the polls among Eastern Conference guards with 128,605 votes.

The 2019 NBA All-Star Game will be played at Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Feb. 17 at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast on TNT.