SALT LAKE CITY -- There it was, sitting quietly on the Utah Jazz's hectic December schedule: Saturday's home game with the Memphis Grizzlies.
Quiet but risky, it was nestled between a four-game winning streak, Friday's disappointing loss at Phoenix and next week's four-game road trip into the Eastern Conference.
Despite hitting 64 percent from the field in the second quarter and taking a 12-point lead into halftime, the Jazz fell 99-86 at EnergySolutions Arena. It was Utah's second home loss of the season.
Before the game Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said there was more than just basketball on his mind. He indicated he was concerned his players were in a unusual place as they dealt with the pressures of the upcoming schedule, the holiday season and more importantly Friday's disturbing school shooting in Connecticut.
"Guys are all over the place (emotionally), there's so much going on in the world," he said. "There's just so much going on right now and the holidays are coming, there's a lot to have on your mind before you go out."
Corbin acknowledged in the face of the tragedy in Newtown, Conn., basketball didn't seem quite so important.
"I don't know," he said before a long, quiet pause. "You start seeing the faces of little kids and ... I don't know."
While maintaining a broader perspective, Corbin said Saturday's game was, from a basketball standpoint, a tricky undertaking.
"It is what the job is," Corbin said. "It's tough for everybody, everybody has to go through it and we have to find a way to play."
The Jazz (13-12) came into the game on the heels of Friday's loss at Phoenix, however, before that they looked sharp as they reeled off four straight wins. Looking ahead, they will begin a four-game road trip, which starts Tuesday against the Nets in Brooklyn.
Utah also has games Wednesday at Indiana, Saturday at Miami and Dec. 23 at Orlando.
Corbin said the upcoming trip has been on his team's radar all season.
"We talk about it right from beginning of the year when you start conditioning," he said. "When you get into these battles and you get into this stretch of the season when you have three games in four nights and we're getting ready to go on the road for back-to-back games, you have to find a way to get through it."
Memphis (15-6) fell behind in the second quarter but pulled ahead in the third quarter, building a 72-64 lead at the end of the third.
The Jazz sizzled the nets in the second quarter, hitting 64 percent from the field. However, they were held to only 10 points in the third, shooting only 3-for-20 from the field, as Memphis pulled away.
Al Jefferson scored 10 consecutive points during a stretch of the first quarter but struggled after halftime and finished with 21 points and eight rebounds.
Grizzlies 99, Jazz 86
* BEST PLAY(S): Using deft footwork and quick moves to the basket, Al Jefferson scores 10 consecutive points during a three-plus minute stretch of the first quarter.
* BEST LINE: Grizzlies power forward Zach Randolph finished with 25 points, 16 rebounds and a blocked shot.
* KEY STAT: The Jazz shot just 15 percent (3-for-20) from the field in the third quarter, scoring only 10 points.
* SIDELINE MOMENT: The Jazz helped orchestrate a special moment took place during a first-half timeout, when two youngsters were reunited with their mother, Jeanne Izatt, an active member of the military who had been serving in Afghanistan since April. Her sons, Connor and Chance, ages 10 and 12, believed they participating in a "hot-and-cold" contest. When they removed their blindfolds, their mother was standing in front of them. The EnergySolutions Arena gave a standing ovation.
* PROUD OF HIS TEAM: Hayward said he throughly enjoyed watching his alma mater, Butler, knock off No. 1-ranked Indiana on Saturday.
"They have bragging rights again for who's the best team in the state," he said. "It just shows they're continuing to build their program and they can take down powerhouse teams like Indiana, Big Ten teams, anyone."
Hayward, who help Butler reach the Final Four in 2010, closely follows the Bulldogs.
"Those guys are some of my best friends," he said. "It's exciting for them."
The unranked Bulldogs knocked off the Hoosiers 88-86 in overtime.
"I was worried for them going into OT ... but they found a way to win," he said. "It seems like Butler always does that."
* JAZZ INVITE FANS TO FRESHEN UP: The Jazz announced they have teamed up with Fresh Market to offer healthy options to Jazz fans throughout the 2012-13 NBA season.
In conjunction with JazzFit, a Utah Jazz program which encourages fans to achieve a happier, healthier, active lifestyle, Fresh Market will provide a produce stand offering the freshest seasonal fruit to Jazz fans who are looking for healthy options while cheering on their favorite team.
All proceeds from the fresh produce stand will be donated to the YMCA of Northern Utah.
"When we launched our JazzFit program, our goal was to increase awareness of fitness and wellness among our fan base," said Jazz President Randy Rigby. "By partnering with Fresh Market on this innovative collaboration, we are now able to further promote our objectives by offering additional healthy options at our concession stands."
Fresh Market's produce stand at EnergySolutions Arena offers fresh bananas, apples and oranges for Jazz fans to easily enjoy during home games.
* INJURY REPORT: Memphis guard Darrell Arthur suffered a mild concussion Friday night in Denver and did not play against the Jazz.
* ETC.: Both teams were playing the second game in back-to-back series. ... Ex-Jazz point guard Brevin Knight was at Saturday's game, working for the Grizzlies' television network. ... Jefferson scored 14 points in the first half. ... Hayward came off the bench to score nine points in the second quarter while teammate Enes Kanter added eight. ... Memphis guard Jerryd Bayless was given a technical foul with 8:50 left in the fourth quarter. Hayward hit the technical free throw.
* UP NEXT: The Jazz hit the road for their annual pre-Christmas road trip, making stops in Brooklyn, Indiana, Miami and Orlando before returning home to play host to Golden State on Dec. 26.