Jokic has 28 points, Nuggets rout Trail Blazers, 124-95

Denver Nuggets

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic, front, drives past Portland Trail Blazers center Cody Zeller in the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Nov. 14, 2021, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

DENVER (AP) — Nikola Jokic just missed out on his third straight triple-double, finishing with 28 points, nine rebounds and nine assists, and the Denver Nuggets spoiled Chauncey Billups’ return home with a 124-95 win over the Portland Trail Blazers.

Billups, a Denver native who had two playing stints with the Nuggets, lost his head coaching debut in his hometown without star Damian Lillard.

Lillard was out with what the team called a lower abdominal tendinopathy. It is an injury the guard has dealt with before and aggravated at the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday night. Lillard played Wednesday and Friday night before Billups kept him out of Sunday night’s game.

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