Patrick Beverley crossed over and immediately sent Bojan Bogdanovic to the floor while sinking an uncontested floater for the L.A. Clippers who looked to move up in playoff contention.
The basket gave Los Angeles a five-point lead with 10.7 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter and the Clippers went on to win their eighth out of nine games played in March, defeating the Indiana Pacers 115-109 Tuesday night at Staples Center.
Danilo Gallinari scored 24 points, Montrezl Harrell had 20 and 12 rebounds and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander added 17.
Minutes before Beverly sunk his game deciding basket, Gilgeous-Alexander scored on back-to-back possessions. Once on a contested layup, where he was forced to contort his body to avoid a block and another on a mid-range pull up jump shot.
“When the shot clock is going down, it’s nice to have guys who can make plays,” Clippers (42-30) coach Doc Rivers said.
“The clock gave me no choice,” said Gilgeous-Alexander, who extended the Clippers lead to eight [110-102] with 2:00 minutes to go. “I just wanted to be aggressive and make something happen.”
Bogdanovic and Tyreke Evans scored 19 points each for the Pacers (44-28), Doug McDermott added 17 and Domantas Sabonis had 13 points, as well as tying his career-high in rebounds with 16.
Although Indiana outrebounded Los Angeles 54-47 on the glass, they turned the ball over 20 times and allowed the Clippers to make 10 three-pointers on the night.
The Pacers shot 51 percent from the field compared to the Clippers shooting 48 percent, but it was fast break points where L.A. controlled the pace of play, 19-8.
Los Angeles led by as many as 17 early in the fourth quarter, only to see their lead shrink to five points. Indiana got within three twice in the closing seconds but ultimately resulted in a losing effort. Evans made a jump shot, but Lou Williams immediately countered with a 21-footer of his own to bolster their lead back to five, 112-107.
With 33 seconds left, Evans responded with a layup, but it was Beverly who embarrassed Bogdanovic after he slipped and fell while attempting to guard the Clippers floor leader with 10 seconds left.
“Just not enough,” Indiana coach Nate McMillan said, as the Pacers extended its road skid to seven consecutive games. “We’ve got to get sharper with our execution, got to get stronger with the basketball. Got to make plays. We’ve got to make our breaks.”