No Nikola Jokic? No problem. The Denver Nuggets were without their rising star on Monday night, but a veteran took command in his absence to lead the Nuggets over the Kings 108-96 at Pepsi Center.

Wilson Chandler scored a career-high 36 points and pulled down 12 rebounds, playing a yeoman’s 43 minutes in the win. Jokic was a game-time scratch due to illness and is considered day-to-day. Mason Plumlee recorded a double-double in his first start as a member of the Nuggets, matching Chandler’s 12 rebounds for a game-high and adding 10 points. Michael Malone leaned heavily on his starters, each whom logged 30 minutes or more.

It seemed that it would be a one-man effort early, as Chandler scored 16 points in the first quarter alone. But Gary Harris and Danilo Gallinari both started to heat up later, posting 15 and 18 points respectively. Chandler finished the night 13-of-23 shooting and 5-of-7 from 3-point range; he stuffed the stat sheet with four assists, two steals and a block.

With the win, Denver gained a half-game on Portland who was unexpectedly idle on Monday night. The Trail Blazers’ game against the Timberwolves was postponed when court conditions at Target Center made the game unplayable. Denver now has a two-game lead on the No. 8 spot in the playoffs. Denver hosts Washington on Wednesday.