Darren Collison scored 22 points, highlighted by his 3-pointer and 20-foot jumper over 6-foot-11 center Jahlil Okafor during the final two minutes, and the Pacers held off the depleted Pelicans 109-107 on Monday night.
Domantas Sabonis had 16 points and 13 rebounds, and Myles Turner added 15 points and nine rebounds for the Pacers, who won their second straight.
The Pelicans had the ball, down 109-106, in the final seconds after Indiana guard Aaron Holiday was called for an offensive foul. But just before Jrue Holiday started to pull up for a 3-pointer, Pacers guard Corey Joseph astutely committed a reach-in foul, putting the Pelicans' guard on the foul line for just two free throws with two seconds left.
Holiday made the first and purposely missed the second, but the Pelicans were unable to get the rebound they needed in order to attempt a tying shot.
Playing without five of their most productive players - including disgruntled All-Star Anthony Davis - the Pelicans have lost three straight. Each loss has been by six or fewer points to teams currently occupying playoff positions in the standings.
Okafor had 25 points and 13 rebounds for New Orleans. Jrue Holiday added 19 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists.
Cheick Diallo had 12 points and 14 rebounds for the Pelicans, who outrebounded the Pacers 55-43.
Ian Clark added 18 points and Darius Miller 16, but New Orleans missed 29 of 38 attempts from 3-point range.
The Pacers host the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night.