The Lakers shot 35.7% from the field but matched the Pacers' defensive intensity, holding Indiana to 30.8% from the field with nine turnovers.
The Lakers survived a slow start against the Pacers to close within three despite falling behind by as many as 11. Metta World Peace hit a pair of three-pointers. Steve Blake tricked D.J. Augustin into a bad foul with 0.4 seconds left to help the Lakers close the period with eight straight points.
Bryant didn't score in the period. Lance Stephenson led the Pacers with eight.
When the Lakers (34-32) visit the Pacers (40-24) on Friday night in Indianapolis, they'll do so with Kobe Bryant in the lineup. Despite a severely sprained left ankle, Bryant will be starting for the Lakers.
[Updated, 3:38 p.m.: An earlier version of this post said Bryant was a game-time decision. The team has since listed Bryant as a starter in tonight's lineup.]
It will be a difficult task for the Lakers to beat the second-best team in the Eastern Conference with Bryant limited by the ankle injury.
Pau Gasol is almost, but not quite, back from a foot injury.
For a more in-depth breakdown, check out Preview: Lakers vs. Pacers.