Deandre Ayton contributed 16 points with 10 rebounds while Mikal Bridges added 16 points in a strong team performance from the home side.
Nikola Jokic had 24 points and 13 rebounds for the Nuggets, a day after receiving the NBA’s Most Valuable Player award.
Alas for Denver, he suffered from a lack of support, with Paul Millsap and Michael Porter Jr their next highest scorers with just 11 each.
Phoenix led by 10 points at half time and set up the victory with a 34-25 third quarter.
Game 3 will take place in Denver on Friday night.