A Josip Drmic double proved to be enough for Gertjan Verbeek's side with the Switzerland forward taking his tally for the season to 15.
Drmic opened the scoring two minutes before the break with a fine finish into the bottom corner and completed his brace after 54 minutes by turning home Markus Feulner's right-wing cross.
The victory sees Nuremberg leapfrog Stuttgart, Hamburg and Freiburg after the latter pair played out a 1-1 draw at the Imtech Arena.
Vladimir Darida lashed home Freiburg's opener early in the second half after Felix Klaus had hit the post, only for Pierre-Michel Lasogga to earn a share of the spoils for Hamburg with a deflected effort.
Meanwhile at the other end of the table Bayer Leverkusen strengthened their grip on fourth spot with a 3-1 success at Augsburg.
Late goals from Song Heung-Min and Emre Can wrapped up the points for Leverkusen after Augsburg's Tobias Werner had cancelled out Stefan Kiessling's opener.
Leverkusen are three points clear of Wolfsburg and a further two ahead of sixth-placed Borussia Monchengladbach, who lost 1-0 at Eintracht Frankfurt by virtue of a 16th minute strike from Joselu.
Meanwhile, Hoffenheim claimed a second straight win after coming from behind to beat 10-man Hannover 3-1.
Midfielder Leon Andreasen put Hannover ahead, only for Eugen Polanski and Anthony Modeste to turn the game around for Hoffenheim.
Manuel Schmiedebach then saw red for the visitors following the midfielder's rash challenge on Modeste, and Hoffenheim took advantage in injury time as Sebastian Rudy rounded off the win.
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