The Champions League semi-finalists, who are in 10th place on five points from their first four league games, have won only one game so far and were desperate to bounce back from Tuesday's shock 2-1 loss to Montpellier.
Lyon's Moussa Dembele netted four minutes after the interval but his effort did not count as the ball had gone out of play earlier.
Lyon kept up the pressure and came close with a Bruno Guimaraes shot before Nimes keeper Baptiste Reynet punched a point blank header from Tino Kadewere clear to earn a point for the visitors.
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Champions PSG play Nice on Sunday.
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