The Nuggets mostly sigh through moments of validation these days. The season has slipped through their fingers like salt.

But sometimes those moments come anyway, and the Nuggets will take them, as they did in a complete 120-112 victory over the Magic on Wednesday night at the Amway Center.

They just won't bend over backward to celebrate them.

"Overall a pretty good job," Nuggets coach Brian Shaw said. "Pretty good execution offensively when we needed to. Controlled the boards for the most part."

Those things happened to a higher degree than Shaw let on. His team doesn't do everything right, but it has continued a trend of playing hard despite the circumstances. And, as a team, that energy helped the Nuggets roll over the Magic, which has also had a disappointing season.

"That was a team we were supposed to beat," Nuggets forward J.J. Hickson said. "No offense to them."

After a shaky first quarter, the Nuggets treated the Magic like it was not of the same ilk. They pounded the Magic on the glass 52-38, just one of a number of hustle stats that fell the Nuggets' way.

For a night, they reversed the frustrating trends of fading away at the end of second quarters, starting slow in third quarters and not being able to finish a team off at the end of the fourth.

None of those were an issue Wednesday night.

"We did what we were supposed to do," Wilson Chandler said of the fourth quarter. "Knocked down free throws and made a couple of stops."

The Nuggets went to work both inside and out, getting double-doubles from Ty Lawson (17 points, 12 assists) and Chandler (21 points, 10 rebounds).

And while Lawson and Chandler did the bulk of their damage on the outside, Kenneth Faried and Hickson had the inside on lockdown the majority of the night.