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Wafer leads shooting spree as Rockets edge Grizzlies

Oct 16, 2008 - 3:14 AM By Shawn Pachuki PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

MEMPHIS, Tennessee (Ticker) -- Von Wafer and the Houston Rockets caught fire from beyond the arc to hold off the Memphis Grizzlies, 101-97, on Wednesday.

The Rockets (3-2) drained 18-of-29 shots from 3-point range. Wafer, a journeyman reserve battling for a roster spot, netted 7-of-9 from long range and finished with a team-high 23 points. Second-year guard D.J. Strawberry added 20 points for Houston, which snapped a two-game skid.

Strawberry's shot from the top of the arc - his second in less than two minutes - knotted the game at 95-95 with 1:27 to play. After a dunk by Hakim Warrick on the other end, Wafer drilled his third 3-pointer of the quarter for a 98-95 lead. Then, with a hand in his face, Wafer hit a long-range dagger with 9.6 seconds left to ice the victory.

Memphis (2-3) had six players reach double figures, with Rudy Gay and rookie Darrell Arthur each scoring 14 points. Darko Milicic, starting his third straight game at power forward, chipped in 12 points, as did point guard Mike Conley.

Memphis built an early cushion, shooting 61 percent over the first eight minutes while the Rockets managed just 33 percent. Conley's layup capped a 7-0 run to give the Grizzlies a 22-13 edge with just over four minutes to go in the first.

Backup point guard Aaron Brooks converted three of Houston's eight shots from 3-point range in the first half and finished with 14 points and nine assists off the bench.

Rockets rookie Joey Dorsey started the game at center in place of Yao Ming, who was given the night off. Dorsey, who played four years of college ball for the Memphis Tigers, posted only five points, but pulled down eight rebounds.

All-Star guard Tracy McGrady also got the night off for Houston, while forward Shane Battier was out with inflammation in his left foot.