The Spurs were without their three stars - Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker - who stayed home rather than make the first stop on the team's three-game trip. They will join the team in Atlanta for a game Thursday.
Kawhi Leonard led San Antonio with 13 points and 12 rebounds. Backup guard Cory Joseph had 13 points.
Randy Foye and J.J.Hickson each added 15 points for the Nuggets, who play Tuesday night in Oklahoma City.
The fans got their first glimpse of new coach Brian Shaw as he takes over after George Karl was fired.