Howard sets record in All-Stars .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:none; color:#000000;} .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink:hover { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:underline; color:#990000;} NEW YORK - China's Yao Ming received his sixth appearance in the National Basketball Association All-Star Game, booking a spot against Dwight Howard, the most popular vote-getter in NBA history.

Orlando's Dwight Howard set a record by receiving 3,150,181 fan votes to claim the starting center berth for the Eastern Conference in final results announced ahead of the 58th annual showcase event on February 15 at Phoenix, Arizona.

Howard will make his third All-Star appearance opposite Yao, who held the previous high mark of 2,558,278 from 2005. This year's five top vote-getters surpassed that mark with Yao's 2009 total of 2,532,958 just off his old mark.

Cleveland’s LeBron James, NBA scoring leader Dwyane Wade of Miami, Boston's Kevin Garnett and Detroit's Allen Iverson will join Howard in the Eastern starters.

Phil Jackson of the Lakers will coach the West squad based upon team records. The coach of the East team has not yet been decided but last year's East coach, Boston's Doc Rivers, is not eligible.

The tightest fight came for Stoudemire's spot, with his 1.46 million votes beating San Antonio's Bruce Bowen on 1.39 million.

Reserves to the respective teams will be named next week by coaches.