Michael Malone was left to ponder what life was like for the Denver Nuggets prior to Nikola Jokic's presence after another star turn from the two-time NBA MVP.

Having sat out Wednesday's game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Jokic returned to action in style in a 120-108 win over the Portland Trail Blazers.

Jokic finished with 27 points, 22 rebounds and 12 assists for his 15th triple-double of the season.

"What life was like before Nikola got here," Denver coach Malone asked afterwards.

"I think people don't do that. They're like 'It's always been like this.' No it wasn’t. No it wasn't. Don't do that. Don't lie to yourself.

“We have been spoilt and I'm sure some of us do find ourselves maybe taking it for granted.

"But just remind yourself that not many guys like Nikola Jokic walk through those doors. Appreciate every opportunity that you have to watch him play."

Friday's game was the Nuggets' 50th of the season, with the reigning NBA champions recording a 34-16 record, exactly the same as they had at the same stage last season.

"I like that we are still playing with the same effort," said Jokic, who is averaging 26.3 points per game.

"It's not like we won a championship and now we're going to go easy. I like that we still want to compete and we still want to be better."