The win allowed the Raptors (7-12) to end a five-game losing streak and snap a 10-game skid in road games against the Lakers (10-10). Toronto last defeated the Lakers at Staples Center on Dec. 28, 2001, when they recorded an 89-86 win.
"We were just reading the situation better tonight," DeRozan said. "We knew what they were going to do. We just tried to take advantage of that. One thing we did was play hard and play smart."
Toronto won despite playing without star forward Rudy Gay, reserve center Aaron Gray and forward Quincy Acy. The three were dealt to the Sacramento Kings in a seven-player trade that was still pending before the game. The swap is expected to be approved by the NBA on Monday.
Even short-handed, the Raptors spoiled the return of Bryant.
"Everyone saw Kobe come back and the trade and all of that, but our guys have to be disciplined and not get caught up in all of the hoopla," Toronto coach Dwane Casey said. "No matter what happens, we've got to be focused. We can't control who's in uniform, who's traded."
Bryant, who had the crowd roaring as soon as he and the Lakers took the floor for pregame warm-ups, showed rust, air-balling his first shot. He committed three of the Lakers' nine turnovers in the first half, scored five points on 2-of-5 shooting, pulled down four rebounds and dished out three assists before the break.
"It's kind of feeling things out now," said Bryant, who hit only two of nine field-goal attempts and admitted he had trouble finding a comfort zone. "I'm pleased I was able to move and turn the corner a little bit. The rhythm is completely out of synch. It's a start."
Bryant said his first game back felt "really weird."
"It's a matter of getting those game legs back," he said.
DeRozan said, "He was a little rusty. You could tell a lot of his shots were short, but he's going to get it back going. I think he'll get back to the old Kobe."
Bryant hit two free throws to pull the Lakers to within 89-85 with 4:50 remaining, but a 6-0 Toronto spurt boosted the Raptors' lead back to double digits. That was too much for the Lakers to overcome.
The Raptors led by as many as 13 points in the first half before settling for a 51-47 halftime lead. Johnson, who finished 14-for-17 from the floor, scored 23 of his points in the first half. DeRozan had 10 points in the half.
NOTES: Lakers G Kobe Bryant entered the game averaging 28.3 points per game in 29 previous contests against the Raptors. It is the second-highest scoring average for an opposing player against Toronto, with Allen Iverson's 29.7 points in 38 games ranked first. ... Toronto G DeMar DeRozan topped 5,000 career points in the first half. DeRozan, a Los Angeles native, is one of only five players in franchise history to top the mark. Chris Bosh (10,275), Vince Carter (9,420), Andrea Bargnani (6,581), Morris Peterson (6,498) and Jose Calderon (5,235) are the others. ... Raptors PF Tyler Hansbrough missed the game with a sprained left shoulder. His status is unknown. ... Lakers PF Chris Kaman sat out with back spasms. He is listed as day-to-day. ... The Lakers held a moment of silence before the game in memory of former South African president Nelson Mandela.