It was a different story nine days later.
Guard Garrett Temple continued his surprising scoring surge with 20 points, guard John Wall had 14 points and 14 assists, and the Wizards won their third consecutive game with a 100-91 victory over the Grizzlies on Wednesday night.
Center Marcin Gortat had 12 points and 12 rebounds for the Wizards, who swept their three-game homestand. Washington (13-14) returned home after a 1-3 Western Conference road trip that included a 112-95 loss at Memphis on Dec. 14.
The box scores shows different reasons why the Wizards dominated the rematch, including 3-point shooting, rebounding and Wall's floor game. The two-time All-Star finished with more assists than the Grizzlies' 12.
Why Washington controlled this matchup went beyond numbers.
"Everybody competed," Wall said. "I played better, had more energy. I think the biggest difference was we didn't have any fight, any effort out there. If you looked at the film, it's probably the worst that we played all season."
Washington led by at least seven points for most of the final three quarters and countered every Memphis surge, often with a score from Temple, who capped a 16-2 run in the third quarter with a step-back 3-pointer for a 74-55 lead.
"They got the better of us tonight," Memphis coach Dave Joerger said. "I was pretty sure that they were going to be ready to play tonight, and they were ready to play,"
Conley's layup cut the deficit to 90-83 with 6:13 left, but the Grizzlies would not get closer.
Temple, recently thrust into the starting lineup with guard Bradley Beal and others injured, then sank one of his three 3-pointers, pushing the lead up to 93-83.
Memphis labored from beyond the 3-point arc, making three of 17 while Washington sank 11 of 25. The Wizards outrebounded the Grizzlies 44-35.
Not known for his offense, Temple nearly set a career high in scoring for third straight game. After scoring 59 points in November, he tallied 64 during the three wins, including a career-high 23 Monday in a 113-99 victory over the Sacramento Kings.
The veteran guard said a motivational speech from coach Randy Wittman before the homestand helped boost his confidence.
"He told us believe in yourself no matter who is out there. Believe in yourself that this is going to be the best game of your career," Temple said. "I've been taking that to heart."
Wall recorded double-doubles during each of the three wins, averaging 17.7 points and 15 assists. He has double-doubles in seven of his past eight games.
Washington only had 10 players available. Starting small forward Otto Porter (thigh) missed his third straight. Beal, Washington's leading scorer, last played Dec. 9 due to a leg injury.
The Wizards might be short-handed, but the schedule offered rest for those playing. Sacramento and Memphis arrived in Washington playing for the second time in as many nights.
"Anytime you win, you get confidence. It's easier at home," said Wizards forward Jared Dudley, who scored 11 points. "The scheduling gods helped us out with those back-to-backs."
Power forward Zach Randolph scored 16 points for the Grizzlies, who trailed 59-48 at halftime.
Joerger recently moved the longtime starter into a reserve role as the Memphis deals with big-man injuries while adjusting to the NBA shifting toward smaller lineups.
"The league is changing, man," Randolph said. "We've got to play to our personnel and our strengths. ... You just hope it works and be professional about it and stick with it."
Green said, "It's early on in the season. There's no need to panic."
Leading 25-18 after the first quarter, the Wizards scored the first 11 points of the second quarter with Wall on the bench. During that stretch, Memphis guard Mario Chalmers was ejected after receiving two technicals following a personal-foul call.
NOTES: Washington remains hopeful that F Nene (left calf strain), who last played Nov. 27, could return within the week. F Drew Gooden (right calf strain) and G Alan Anderson (ankle) round out the Wizards' injury list. ... All five starters scored in double figures in the Grizzlies' win over Washington on Dec. 14, including C Marc Gasol with 24 points. ... Wizards F Jared Dudley entered Wednesday leading the NBA with a 48.7 3-point field-goal percentage. ... Memphis closes out its three-game road trip Saturday at Charlotte. The Hornets won the first meeting 123-99 in Memphis on Dec. 11. ... Washington faces the Nets on Saturday in Brooklyn for the first time this season.