DENVER, Dec. 29 (UPI) -- Chauncey Billups scored 18 points and had nine assists Tuesday in the Denver Nuggets' 95-77 win over visiting Portland.
Nene and J.R Smith added 17 points apiece for the Nuggets, who will get Carmelo Anthony back Thursday. He has missed five games due to the death of his sister, Michelle.
The Nuggets, who lost their first three contests without Anthony, broke the game open by outscoring Portland 30-17 in the third quarter. Billups scored eight points in the outburst and finished the game shooting 7-of-11 from the field.
The Trail Blazers, who have lost two of their last three games, were led by LaMarcus Aldridge, who scored 18 points and had 13 rebounds. Nicolas Batum added 14 and Rudy Martinez scored 11 off the bench.