For the next two minutes, the teams traded buckets, with IN getting two baskets off of offensive rebounds as Thaddeus Young and Lance Stephenson both mixed it up IN the paint to keep the Pacers within striking distance.
Boston's plan was simple: Foul quickly and send the Pacers to the free-throw line.
Victor Oladipo led the Pacers (17-14) with 38 points, 30 in the second half.
"We go into this diamond defense, with Kyrie (Irving) and (Marcus) Smart on the first trap", he said, as seen on NBC Sports Boston's Celtics postgame coverage. Oladipo followed with a scoop for his ninth straight point and a 107-102 IN lead with 31.3 seconds remaining.
Lonzo Ball, who scored seven of his 16 points in the extra five minutes, had a potential tying layup blocked by David West to snuff the Lakers' last chance.
Oladipo gave the Pacers a 105-102 lead with an up-top 3-pointer with 52.2 seconds left.
In other games, Eric Gordon scored 17 of his season-high 33 points in the fourth quarter to power the Houston Rockets to a thumping 120-99 triumph over Utah and their 14th straight win.
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"Kyrie made two incredible shots", Boston coach Brad Stevens said.
The Pacers cut the deficit to single digits in the third quarter and rallied late in the fourth.
Boston has played well in Indianapolis and certainly got off to a fast start this time. Domantas Sabonis scored 18 points off the bench.
"It's a 48-minute game and we just lost our composure", IN coach Nate McMillan said of the poor execution. IN is coming off of a 109-97 win over the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday and will be on the second night of a back-to-back.
The Celtics topped their season-best for 3-point field goal percentage, shooting 61 percent on 16 of 26 from beyond the arc. We dug ourselves the deepest hole you can imagine and again, fought our way back like clockwork, but we come up short again. Boston's 38 first-quarter points were the most points IN has allowed IN that period this season.
After the Pacers had gone ahead 111-107, Irving hit a 3-pointer from the top of the circle with 9.3 seconds left to make it a one-point game.
At Charlotte, reserve Frank Kaminsky scored 24 points and the host Hornets snapped a three-game losing streak with a 109-91 victory over NY. The Celtics hit their first ten shots of the game and didn't miss until Jaylen Brown missed a three-pointer about eight minutes into the game.