LOS ANGELES – Despite being second in fan voting, Wolves guard Derrick Rose was not named a starter for the Western Conference in All-Star voting results, the NBA announced Thursday.
Rose was behind only the Warriors’ Stephen Curry in fan voting among Western Conference guards for the game in Charlotte, the league said, but James Harden was named a starter alongside Curry in the final tally, which included media and player voting.
Rose came in fourth among players and tied for sixth in media vote, while Harden placed second among players and first among media, which put him ahead in the aggregate score. Rose left Thursday’s game against the Lakers because of a right ankle injury with six points after playing only 12 minutes.
“I’ll be the first one to go out and politic for Derrick,” Wolves interim coach Ryan Saunders said. “Everything he’s fought back from in terms of injuries and how he’s been with our young guys, and also producing on the court. He should be in Charlotte.”
Fan voting accounted for 50 percent of the vote while media and player voting counted for 25 percent each. Rose finished nearly 400,000 votes ahead of Harden in fan voting. Karl-Anthony Towns came in ninth among Western Conference frontcourt players. Both could still be named a reserve for the game. Head coaches pick the reserves and those results will be announced next Thursday.
Josh Okogie said he made one key change Tuesday when it came to his shot, and that change resulted in Okogie’s best shooting night of the season, a career-high 21 points.
“I got to stop trying to aim and just shoot the ball,” Okogie said. “In Phoenix, I did a good job of catching and shooting instead of trying to just aim it.”
Okogie shot 7-for-11 from the field, which included 4-for-7 from three-point range. Okogie has never been one to lack for confidence on the floor, but his shot has been a work in progress.
“He’ll still [hesitate] some,” forward Anthony Tolliver said. “But now I think after he’s hit a few and gets a little more confidence, [he’ll] realize, ‘Not only am I open and capable of making it, it’s a good shot for our team.’ ”
Perhaps a watershed moment for Okogie’s confidence was a 119-117 victory over Oklahoma City on Jan. 8, when Okogie hit a three-pointer to put the Wolves ahead 119-115 with 27 seconds remaining. It came after Okogie missed his previous four three-point attempts that night.
“It just shows you no matter how your game is going, you have to keep your head up and just keep playing,” Okogie said.
Okogie was back to struggling against the Lakers, scoring nine points on 2-for-14 shooting.
• Guard Jeff Teague was out for his second consecutive game because of left foot soreness. Saunders wasn’t sure when the Wolves might get him back and said the team is taking it “day by day.”
• Suns guard Devin Booker was fined $25,000 for escalating an on-court altercation Tuesday by pushing Wolves center Gorgui Dieng in the face.
The Associated Press contributed to this notebook.