Kevin Love's surprise 2012-13 debut created plenty of pregame buzz at Target Center and it bled into the game as the Timberwolves led by as many as 17 in the first half.
But Denver clawed back in the second to claim a 101-94 victory and send the Wolves to 5-5 on the season.
Love, out since the exhibition season with a broken right hand, made his first three-point attempt and scored a game-high 34 points. Danilo Gallinari had 19 for the Nuggets while Andre Iguodala and Ty Lawson provided balance with 18 each.
Minnesota heads for a four-game road trip West, beginning Friday in Portland