Dwight Howard doesn't like being called a bitch -- and was physically restrained when he got into it with a Lakers fan after the game Sunday night.
TMZ Sports has footage in which you can hear a man shouting obscenities at Howard after the Lakers beat the Hawks 109-94 at Staples Center.
At one point the man -- who we're told appeared to be in his 20s -- says, "You're a bitch!"
Dwight -- who was on the way to the locker room -- stopped in his tracks and jawed back at the heckler, "Come back here and say it."
A team official grabs Howard and starts physically pushing the 6'11" superstar back toward the tunnel ... as he continues to challenge the fan.
It's not the first time Howard's been heckled at Staples -- the former Laker was taunted last year with a "Kobe" chant during a playoff game against the Clippers. He wasn't happy then either.