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Utah Jazz will be seeing stars early in their season

Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose (1) drives to the basket against Utah Jazz guard Jamaal Tinsley (6) during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Chicago, Friday, Nov. 8, 2013. (AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski)

By Aaron Falk

The Salt Lake Tribune

First published Aug 13 2014 06:08PM
Updated Aug 14, 2014 10:49AM

Some of the NBA’s biggest names are coming to EnergySolutions Arena in November.

Dwight Howard and the Rockets, LeBron James and the new-look Cavaliers, Kevin Durant’s Oklahoma City Thunder, Derrick Rose, and the star-studded Clippers will all make their first trip to Salt Lake City before Dec. 1.

That could mean a rough start for the rebuilding Utah Jazz.

A difficult opening month, a slate short on national broadcasts, and a grueling pre-Christmas road trip were among the challenges revealed Wednesday, as the Jazz and the rest of the NBA released the schedule for the upcoming season.

The Utah Jazz will open the year at home on Oct. 29 against the Rockets and they’ll close out the regular season April 15 in Houston. In between, there will be a season’s worth of challenges for a rebuilding team looking to improve on last year’s 25-win campaign.

Among the marquee matchups (and there are a handful before the calendar reaches December) at EnergySolutions Arena are:

• James and the Cavs on Nov. 5.

• Kevin Durant and the Thunder on Nov. 18.

• The return of Bulls point guard Derrick Rose on Nov. 24.

• Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and the Clippers on Nov. 29.

• The world champion Spurs on Dec. 9 and last year’s runner-up, Miami, on Dec. 12.

• Andrew Wiggins, if reports of his trade to Minnesota hold true, on Dec. 30.

• And Jabari Parker and the Bucks on Feb. 28.

Utah will get respite at times.

The team could throw together a winning streak in early December, when it hosts Denver, Toronto and Orlando before heading to Sacramento. The Jazz will also get a longer than usual All-Star break, going nine days without a game in February.

And Utah’s longest homestand (five games) will run from March 10-18.

The schedule also features 19 back-to-back sets, one fewer than Utah saw last year.

But the Jazz will have three road trips of four or more games: Nov. 9-15 (Detroit, Indiana, Atlanta, New York Knicks, Toronto); Dec. 14-22 (Washington, New Orleans, Miami, Orlando, Charlotte, Memphis); and March 3-8 (Memphis, Boston, Philadelphia, Brooklyn).

This season, the Jazz will make only one trip to Los Angeles to play the Lakers and only one visit to San Antonio. Meanwhile, Jazz fans will only see the Suns and the Kings once in Salt Lake City.

Utah’s three national TV broadcasts will come Nov. 22 against the Pelicans (NBA TV), March 8 against the Nets (NBA TV) and March 18 against the Wizards (ESPN).

Twitter: @tribjazz

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