Denver snapped the Memphis Grizzles' eight-game winning streak with a 97-92 victory over the NBA's hottest team.
In a battle that raged from start to finish, the Grizzlies led 92-88 with about two minutes remaining but failed to close the game out, going scoreless and making critical mistakes in the final moments.
Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari made three free throws and, after JaVale McGee put visiting Denver on top 93-92, he drained a three-pointer in the last seconds to seal the win.
Gallinari finished with a game-high 26 points, McGee added 15 and eight rebounds off the bench as the Nuggets (5-6) brought a run of three straight defeats to an end.
After losing their season-opener, Memphis (8-2) had run through their competition until facing Denver.
Rudy Gay led the way for the Grizzles with 22 points, while Zach Randolph put up 12 points and 13 rebounds