Kemba Walker, the second-player chosen in this year's NBA draft, produced 30 points in his Charlotte debut and the Bobcats managed a victory despite their struggles to put the game away.
The jump shot by Thomas gave Charlotte a 90-85 lead and the Bobcats then finished the game with four missed field goal attempts and two turnovers.
Indiana, however, could not take advantage. The Pacers could not score for the final 2:11, suffering two turnovers of their own during that stretch. A 3-point attempt by Indiana's D.J. Augustin just before the buzzer misfired, leaving Indiana with a split of its first two games.
Walker made 10-of-21 shots from the field and 9-of-10 from the foul line. Gerald Henderson added 18 points. Charlotte shot just 36 percent from the field to 39 percent for the Pacers.
Indiana was led by Tyler Hansbrough and Lance Stephenson, both of whom scored 15 points off the bench.