The Wizards did retaliate in the second quarter when Memphis appeared headed for a double-figure lead, with Nick Young providing a highlight-reel dunk that brought much of the announced 11,875 at Verizon Center out of their seats. With his team down 33-24 after a timeout 10:42 before halftime, Young gathered the ball on the right side near the three-point arc and drove along the baseline. From there he elevated with the ball held high in his right hand and shook the rim with a dunk over 7-2 reserve center Hamed Haddadi. That prompted the Grizzlies to call timeout, but momentum remained with the Wizards after the stoppage. Clearly energized from Young's emphatic basket, Washington scored 10 of the next 11 points, all courtesy of Blatche and Young, to take a 36-34 lead with 5:27 to go before intermission.
The Wizards shot 48 percent from the field and had 26 assists including seven each from Randy Foye and Mike Miller. Because of the Grizzlies second-chance opportunities in the fourth quarter they ended up with ten more shot attempts and five more made field goals for the game than the Wizards. "I think overall our effort level was good," noted Wizards head coach Flip Saunders. "Memphis is a great rebounding team and we battled on the boards and led for most of the game until we went through that stretch to start the fourth quarter. I thought it was a good solid effort though."
Washington’s loss ended a three-game home winning streak in front of a Verizon Center crowd of 11,875—the lowest of the season. "We gave them way too many easy points," Thornton said. "We didn’t make it tough on them. They got baskets at will."
Saunders was even harder on JaVale McGee (10 points, 1 rebound), who might as well have not even guarded Marc Gasol (20 points), who scored 10 of Memphis’s first 12 points, all in the paint, and was nearly perfect (10 for 11) from the field, missing only his final attempt after the game had long been decided. "JaVale was getting his butt kicked tonight," said Saunders. "It was a learning experience for him tonight. He plays 15 minutes. The guy he’s going against goes 10 for 10. He gets one rebound. Those are things he’s got to do better. He’s got to fight better, and he’s got to keep on learning from that situation."