Saturday night's highlight happened about midway through the second quarter of the Nuggets' next-to-last home game, against the Utah Jazz.

That was about the time the Atlanta Hawks were putting the finishing touches on an upset victory over Miami, thereby clinching the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. That eliminated the New York Knicks, officially giving the Nuggets two opportunities to maybe, just maybe, sneak into the top three in the NBA draft lottery.

If they're lucky enough.

But luck hasn't been a hallmark of the team this season. Unless, of course, you're talking buzzard's luck.

The Nuggets did win in thrilling fashion, 101-94 at the Pepsi Center, with forward Kenneth Faried turning in a monster effort of 24 points and 21 rebounds.

It was the first 20-20 game of his career.

"I've been waiting for that since I got here," Faried said. "I played a lot of minutes but kept fighting. We kept going after it. I don't care about the scoring. It was the rebounding more than anything. I finally got it."

PHOTOS: Utah Jazz vs. Denver Nuggets

With two games remaining and the season ending Wednesday night, more eyes are turning toward lottery odds each day. At the moment, the Knicks and Nuggets own the 11th- and 12th-worst records in the league, which carry 0.8 percent and 0.7 percent chances of earning the top pick.

But we're saying there's a chance.

On the court, the Nuggets had to grind this game out. And after a lackluster first half, they picked things up in the second by getting out into transition more often, being crisper in their half-court execution — and then simply finding a shooting touch that had eluded them for much of the game.

The Nuggets outscored Utah 67-50 in the final 24 minutes, Faried doing much of the damage in the third quarter with 13 points and six rebounds, and guard Evan Fournier getting into the action in the fourth quarter with 12 of his 23 points in the final frame.