TORONTO, Feb. 1 (Ticker) -- As the Los Angeles Lakers embark on their longest road trip in more than a decade, Shaquille O'Neal appears to be getting close to full strength.

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O'Neal fought through fouls to score 36 points as the Lakers kicked off a seven-game trek -- their longest since 1991-92 -- with an 84-83 victory over the Toronto Raptors.

Playing without injured stars Kobe Bryant and Karl Malone, the Lakers nearly squandered a 16-point lead but benefited from a non-call in the final seconds.

Toronto's Vince Carter drove the lane between Gary Payton and Rick Fox. Carter lost the ball, O'Neal grabbed the rebound and fed a long pass to Payton, who ran out the final two seconds rather than attempt a layup.

"I'm not going to talk about the officials," Toronto coach Kevin O'Neill said. "I'm really not. It was a tough game to officiate.You have two guys, Vince and Shaq, that both think they should be fouled every time."

Carter had 27 points and 10 rebounds for the Raptors (21-24), who dropped to 1-7 all-time at home against the Lakers and fell three games under .500 for the first time this season. Carter's 3-pointer made it 84-83 with 48 seconds left.

"We hung in there through all the (expletive) and were able to get a win," O'Neal said. "The guys are looking for me more and if they look for me like that, I will continue to put up the numbers."

Los Angeles played its second straight game without Bryant, who is on the injured list with a cut on his right index finger. Malone is expected to be out until mid-March with a sprained knee.

But O'Neal dominated the first half despite playing just 18 minutes. He made nine of his first 11 shots and finished 13-of-20 from the field.

"He's close to 100 percent," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said.

The game was tied, 23-23, after the first quarter, before the Lakers outscored the Raptors in the second period, 31-15, shooting 72 percent (13-of-18).

"Everyone has to help out down low against Shaq," Carter said. "He does a great job of passing the ball out, so you have to hope that those guys miss shots."

Toronto did a better job on O'Neal in the second half and crept back in the game, but the Lakers never relinquished the lead.