A free throw from the rookie put the hosts ahead for the first time with 2:57 remaining and his 14 rebounds and six blocks helped them seal a 108-103 victory over the Orlando Magic.
Emmanuel Mudiay top scored with 19 points for New York, with the bench outscoring the Magic's reserves by 75-7.
Despite building an 18-point lead, the Nuggets saw their advantage slip away in the fourth quarter, leaving Nikola Jokic to help put them back in control with five free throws in the final minutes.
Jokic fell one rebound short of a triple-double, recording 36 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds as the Nuggets sealed their fifth-straight win.
Meanwhile, the Toronto Raptors claimed a convincing 118-95 win over the struggling Boston Celtics, with Pascal Siakam leading the way with 25 points.
Toronto built up a commanding lead as they outscored the Celtics 36-13 in the second quarter.
The result marked a third-straight loss for Boston as the Raptors strengthened their hold on second place in the Eastern Conference.