HOUSTON — New Orleans Pelicans star forward Anthony Davis was in the starting lineup Wednesday against the Houston Rockets.
Davis missed Saturday’s loss against Minnesota because of a pregame toe injury. After practicing Monday, Davis was cleared for game action.
“He is fine,” Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said just before Wednesday’s tip-off. “It is just one of those deals where it flared up that night, and there is no reason to take a huge risk and stick him out there.”
Gentry said Davis, who averages a team-high 24.1 points, wasn’t limited against the Rockets.
“I think it is one of those things that once he is out there, the competitive nature will take over and he will just play,” Gentry said. “It’s not like he can damage it any more.”
New Orleans will also see the return to the starting lineup of center Kendrick Perkins.
Perkins will start in place of an injured Omer Asik. Perkins started the first three games of the season for the Pelicans, but hasn’t started since October.
Fellow center Alexis Ajinca had been starting in place of Asik, but will instead come off the bench after battling foul trouble Saturday.
“(Ajinca) is going to have to learn — whether he is a starter or not a starter — he has to learn to play the game without fouls,” Gentry said.
“We can’t play him in any situation where two minutes in he has two fouls. He has to learn to play without doing that.”
The Pelicans (23-35) trail the Rockets (29-31) by five games for the eighth and final Western Conference playoff spot.