Credit: Michael Ciaglo-USA TODAY Sports
Credit Michael Ciaglo-USA TODAY Sports

Nikola Jokic had 28 points, nine rebounds and nine assists, Bones Hyland scored 18 points, and the host Denver Nuggets (9-4) beat the shorthanded Portland Trail Blazers (6-8) 124-95 (33-18, 34-35, 24-26, 33-16) on Sunday night.

Player of the Game
Nikola  Jokic
EFF
35
Nikola Jokic
Points 28
Accuracy 11-17
Rebounds 9
Assists 9

Monte Morris finished with 15 points, Facundo Campazzo 13, and P.J. Dozier and JaMychal Green 12 each for Denver, which has won five straight and spoiled the homecoming of Blazers coach Chauncey Billups, a former Nuggets player.

Portland guard Damian Lillard was out with what the team called an abdominal injury that he has dealt with in the past and that he aggravated Tuesday at the Los Angeles Clippers.

CJ McCollum scored 21, Anfernee Simons had 16 points and Nassir Little and Norman Powell finished with 13 apiece for the Blazers.

Denver was without guard Will Barton because of lower-back tightness. He dressed for the game but went to the locker room before the contest started and was officially ruled out at halftime.

The Nuggets grabbed a 21-6 lead with 3:30 left in the first quarter. Portland got within 24-13 later in the period, but Denver closed the period on a 9-4 run to take a 33-18 lead into the second.

It was a 14-point lead late in the second when the Blazers made a run to get within 58-49, but Denver stretched its lead again. Jokic's 3-pointer from the top of the arc with 0.2 seconds left gave the Nuggets a 67-53 lead at halftime.

Jokic hit a 3-pointer and a jumper out of halftime to increase Denver's lead to 72-56. Simons made a finger roll, but Gordon hit a jumper and Morris scored on a layup to put the Nuggets ahead 76-58.

Portland was down by 17 but got within 88-79 late in the third on a tip-in by Cody Zeller. Dozier drained a 3-pointer to put Denver back in front by 12 entering the fourth.

The Nuggets scored the first eight points of the final period to take a 98-79 lead with 9:45 left. Portland hit two straight, but a trio of 3-pointers made it 109-83, and Denver closed it out.

Nuggets: Nikola Jokic 28 (8/14 2PT, 3/3 3PT, 9 REB, 9 AST), Nah'Shon Hyland 18 (4/8 3PT), Monte Morris 15 (6/8 2PT, 7 REB, 4 AST, 3 STL), Facundo Campazzo 13 (3/6 3PT, 4 AST, 4 TO), JaMychal Green 12, P.J. Dozier 12 (4/6 3PT, 4 AST), Aaron Gordon 11 (5/11 2PT), Zeke Nnaji 8 (2/3 3PT, 10 REB).

Blazers: C.J. McCollum 21 (2/7 2PT, 5/10 3PT), Anfernee Simons 16 (5/6 2PT, 1/5 3PT, 5 REB, 4 AST), Norman Powell 13 (4/7 2PT), Nassir Little 13 (3/8 3PT, 7 REB).

Nikola Jokic's performance

Highlights

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Denver Nuggets
Portland Trail Blazers
52%
47/90
Field goals
44%
35/80
53
Rebounds
39
29
Assists
22
9
Steals
8
14
Fouls
15
79%
11/14
Free throws
92%
12/13

Best players

Nikola  Jokic
28 PTS
11/17 FG
3/3 FT
C.J.  McCollum
21 PTS
7/17 FG
2/2 FT
Zeke  Nnaji
10 REB
6 DREB
4 OREB
Nassir  Little
7 REB
6 DREB
1 OREB
Nikola  Jokic
9 As
3 TO
28 MIN
Dennis  Smith
5 As
2 TO
23 MIN
Nikola  Jokic
35 EFF
57% 2P%
100% 3P%
Anfernee  Simons
19 EFF
83% 2P%
20% 3P%