"We're going to play hard no matter what," Ford said. "We have confidence in each other. We've had problems closing out games so this was a big win for us."
Said Pacers coach Jim O'Brien: "A great win for us. They're a very resilient group. I'm very proud of their effort."
Andre Iguodala had 26 points for Philadelphia (12-15) in its first loss in four games under new coach Tony DiLeo. Andre Miller had a triple-double for the Sixers with 14 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds.
The Sixers played for the second straight game without Elton Brand, out for a month because of a dislocated shoulder.
"It's tough," Iguodala said. "We're short-handed, too, but it's a game we should have had. It was one of our tougher losses this year and the games you've got to get."
Miller's two free throws with 2:59 left gave Philadelphia an 88-83 lead. But the Pacers scored eight of the next nine points, on Ford's free throws and Jeff Foster's three-point play, to take a 91-89 lead with 1:30 left.
After Philadelphia's Samuel Dalembert made one of two free throws, Jarrett Jack made a driving shot in the lane to give Indiana a 93-30 lead with 49 seconds left. Iguodala's layup with 41.1 seconds remaining pulled Philadelphia to 93-92 with 41.1 seconds left and the Sixers went ahead 94-93 on Lou Williams' fast-break dunk after Jack's turnover on Indiana's previous possession.
Ford's jump shot gave Indiana back the lead.
"I was looking for an isolation, a one-on-one; I wanted to get a shot up," Ford said of his eventual game-winner. "If I missed, maybe we'd get the rebound."
Iguodala missed a driving, left-handed shot as time expired that would've given Philadelphia the victory.
"I think it was a heartfelt game by both teams," DiLeo said. "I think both teams were tired from back-to-back games. I think when it was coming down the stretch, we wanted it and that was the truth from the last play.
"We got a good look and it just didn't fall for Andre."
Jack finished with 12 points and a season-high eight assists for Indiana, which got a season-high 12 points all in the first half from Travis Diener, 11 from Brandon Rush and a career-high 10 from Josh McRoberts.
Williams had 17 points, and Dalembert finished with 11 points and 14 rebounds for the Sixers.
Sixers guard Willie Green sprained his left ankle while guarding Jack in the first half. X-rays were negative, but Green didn't return. ... Miller's triple-double was the eighth of his career. ... The Sixers will begin a string of six straight road games Tuesday night at Boston.