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SALT LAKE CITY — There was a lot going on at Vivint Arena on Friday night.

The Utah Jazz were returning from NBA All-Star break.

It was International Night.

Former Jazz star Darrell Griffith was in attendance to present rookie Donovan Mitchell with his slam dunk contest trophy ahead of the tipoff.

Ricky Rubio returned to the starting lineup from a three-game absence with left hip soreness.

Then to top things off, Utah was riding a league-best 11-game win streak with all eyes on them to see how they would come out of the break.

Despite all the excitement and energy in the building, the Jazz’s hot streak ended after a 100-81 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers. Utah turned the ball over 20 times, allowing 22 points off the mishaps.

“We weren’t as sharp as we’ve been before and those guys played good, that’s a very good team and they did a great job tonight,” said Jazz center Rudy Gobert, who ended with 15 points, nine rebounds, four blocks and two steals.

During the break, the Jazz were able to practice a couple times, but they hadn’t played in a game since Feb. 14. That lack of activity was certainly apparent as the Jazz allowed 14 second-chance points and fell behind by as many as 19.

“I mean, you’re off for like a week so you’re going to come back kind of rusty by not practicing and not being around the team to sharpen things up,” said Jazz forward Derrick Favors, who contributed four points and nine rebounds. “So, I think that’s what happened tonight. Luckily, we got that out the way, we’ve got another game tomorrow so we’ve just got to come back better.”

In Rubio’s return, he put up four points with four rebounds but turned the ball over three times in 19 minutes. Mitchell led the squad with 21 points on 8-for-20 shooting for his 28th game of 20-plus points this season and new addition Jae Crowder posted 11 points.

Joe Ingles would end with 12 points with...
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SALT LAKE CITY — Los Angeles was the host of 67th NBA All-Star Game last weekend.

Could Salt Lake City be in the picture next? Fans will have to wait and see.

After months of planning, the Utah Jazz have submitted a formal bid to the league to host an All-Star Game in 2022 or 2023.

The Jazz have partnered with the state of Utah, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah Sports Commission, Visit Salt Lake and the Utah Office of Tourism to strengthen the case of Vivint Arena as a proposed site.

“We are very excited and well-prepared to bring back the NBA All-Star Game to Vivint Smart Home Arena,” said Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski. “We are a vibrant, diverse and culturally rich community that knows how to celebrate the experience of sport. Our 2002 Olympic Winter Games remain the standard against which all other Olympic Winter Games are measured.”

Utah last hosted an NBA All-Star Weekend on Feb. 21, 1993, where hometown heroes John Stockton and Karl Malone shared co-MVP honors. Returning in 2023 would mark the 30th anniversary of that star-studded showcase.

The Salt Palace, Huntsman Center and The Complex entertainment venue are other venues that could be used for All-Star festivities, if Utah is selected.

“The 1993 NBA All-Star Game was memorable for many reasons. Our new arena was just two years old, and we were so proud to welcome the NBA family into our new home,” said Greg Miller, NBA Board of Governors member. “It is with great excitement and anticipation that we now invite the NBA to return this celebration of our sport back to Salt Lake City for a game elevated.”

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The now looks good. The future looks great.

What a time to be a Utah Jazz fan! After a fun-filled All-Star weekend that included Donovan Mitchell bringing home the first (of many) hardware in his career, we now have a few days off to prepare for the rest of the season.

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I’ll start off with an outlook on the remainder of the season. The Utah Jazz sit at 30-28 and are on an 11 game winning streak. They may be 10th in the west but they are only 2.5 games from the fifth seed. Every game matters as we push through the remaining 22 games.


Here’s a nice little Western Conference Post All-Star Break preview per @FiveThirtyEight’s win probability as of today... pic.twitter.com/ljqxjBZk8u

— Landon Parker (@parelkid) February 16, 2018

Crazy. As of right now FiveThirtyEight projects the following at season’s end:

  1. Rockets 62-20
  2. Warriors 61-21
  3. Timberwolves 48-34
  4. Thunder 47-35
  5. Spurs 47-35
  6. Jazz 46-36...