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Fields scores 18 as Raptors beat struggling Lakers

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 20, 2013 at 4:30 pm •  Published: January 20, 2013

Howard left without speaking to reporters, but Bryant said he was upset by the costly ejection.

"I really don't agree with that one at all," Bryant said. "What's a player supposed to do? A guy cuts in front when he's trying to walk back up the court. An official told me he should just walk away. I said, 'Which direction? Should he just turn around a just walk to the bench?'"

Clark said Los Angeles struggled to defend the paint without Howard's presence inside.

"When he's gone, it's just a layup special," Clark said.

Consecutive 3-pointers by Kyle Lowry and layups by Terrence Ross and Anderson gave Toronto a 95-76 lead with 7:29 left, forcing the Lakers to call timeout.

Los Angeles responded with a 3 by Nash and, after a layup by Fields, a pair of 3-pointers by Bryant and a layup by Antawn Jamison made it 97-87 with 5:22 remaining.

Bryant hit a 3 with 1:35 left, cutting it to 103-97, but Amir Johnson rebounded Anderson's miss and scored a layup to make it an eight-point game with 1:02 left.

Gasol returned to the starting lineup after coming off the bench for the first time in his Lakers career in Thursday's loss to Miami. Gasol had sat out the previous five games with a concussion after being accidentally elbowed in the face by Denver's JaVale McGee.

It was a slow start for the Lakers, who missed 12 of their first 15 shots and were down 19-4 with 5:50 left in the first. Bryant missed his first six shots and made just one of eight in the opening quarter as Toronto led 29-20.

"We started off awful, without any energy," D'Antoni said.

Gasol scored 10 points and Bryant had nine in the third, but the Raptors got 10 points from Fields and six each from Calderon and Davis to take an 83-70 edge into the fourth.

NOTES: Raptors C Andrea Bargnani (right elbow) has resumed working with a basketball, while rookie C Jonas Valanciunas (broken right ring finger) is lifting weights, Casey said. ... Nash made his first visit to Toronto since passing on a contract offer from the Raptors to sign with Los Angeles last summer. ... This was the first game of a three-game road trip for the Lakers, who will also visit Chicago and Memphis. ... Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban attended the game.