Just when life seems unbearable, there is someone to reach out and offer hope.

The Denver Nuggets were that special someone Wednesday night for Phoenix.

The shine had come off the Suns during a 1-8 stretch that included five consecutive losses but their defensive, slow-start and trade-transition troubles appeared miniscule when sharing the light with the even dimmer Denver Nuggets.

The Suns beat the Nuggets 110-96 Wednesday night at a nearly-empty Pepsi Center, where a snowstorm and a team that now has lost 17 of its past 19 games kept the crowd to a polite gathering.

The Suns (30-28) have no business being particular about the quality of the win, something that could be saved for Thursday's home game against Oklahoma City. Phoenix pulled within 2 1/2 games of the Thunder by handing an eighth consecutive home loss to Denver, which was missing Wilson Chandler (hip) and Kenneth Faried to injuries and then lost Darrell Arthur (knee) and Jusuf Nurkic (ankle) to injuries during the game.

Despite the depletion, the Nuggets (20-37) challenged the Suns for most of the game with a career game from rookie Frenchman Joffrey Lauvergne (11 points, nine rebounds) and a near season high from Danilo Gallinari (20 points).

But the Suns found a rare opponent that they could beat up on the boards and had frequent foul-line trips.

With an injury-depleted front line, Phoenix hammered Denver on the boards 65-40 for the Suns' highest rebounding total since 1998 and the NBA's highest of the season.