Mitchell won't defend Slam Dunk contest title

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Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell has declined to defend his NBA Slam Dunk contest title in Charlotte Feb. 16 as he focuses his attention on a playoff run.

"I loved doing the dunk contest last year and it was a ton of fun, but I also know it takes a lot of focus, practice and preparation," Mitchell said, according to Deseret News' Eric Woodyard. "Right now, my mind is really on helping my team make a deep run (in the) second half of the season. I'm excited though for the weekend, I'm going to be able to be a part of some great events."

There's still a good chance Mitchell represents Team USA in the Rising Stars game on Feb. 15.

Mitchell defeated Larry Nance Jr., Dennis Smith Jr., and Victor Oladipo last year with four high-scoring dunks, totaling 98 points in the first and second rounds.

The 22-year-old has caught fire of late after a slower start to the year, averaging 29.7 points and 5.1 assists in his last seven while leading Utah to six victories over that span.

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