The Lakers snapped their four-game losing streak with an easy victory over Sacramento on Friday night at Staples Center.

Then again, the Lakers were playing one of the worst teams in the NBA.

Sacramento dropped to 4-13 and has lost six in a row.

Pau Gasol, despite a strained left hamstring, had 16 points on six-for-eight shooting. He played just 27 minutes, none in the fourth quarter. He also finished with five assists and five rebounds.

Kobe Bryant had 22 points on nine-for-18 shooting, and he also sat out the fourth quarter, as did all the Lakers’ starters.

The Lakers have three days off before they play again at home Tuesday night against the Washington Wizards.

Lakers rookie Derrick Caracter scored a career-high 10 points.

The Lakers, shooting 54.1% from the field, opened a 31-point lead at one point in the third.

It looked as if the Kings had quit during this time, hardly ever running any kind of offense.

By the end of the third, Kobe Bryant had scored 22 points on nine-for-18 shooting. He sat down with 2:55 left in the quarter.

Pau Gasol had scored 16 points on six-for-eight shooting, and he had five rebounds and five assists.

With Kobe Bryant scoring 16 points in the first half and Lamar Odom adding nine points and six rebounds, the Lakers opened a 17-point lead.

The Lakers shot 48.8% from the field in the first half and held  the Kings to 33.3% shooting.

Kings guard Tyreke Evans was three for eight from the field.

Pau Gasol was able to start Friday night despite a strained left hamstring.

He played the first nine minutes before he was replaced by rookie power forward Derrick Caracter.

Gasol had two points, zero rebounds and one assist in the first quarter.

Kobe Bryant and Lamar Odom both had six points to lead the Lakers in the first quarter.

Pregame

At 6:33 p.m. Friday, Pau Gasol walked into the Lakers’  locker room, more than half an hour late for the 6 p.m. report time for players, still not certain if he was going to play against the Kings.

Gasol has been dealing with a sore left hamstring that the Lakers listed as strained.

The Lakers said he would be a game-time decision.

Gasol didn’t offer any more clarity when he was approached before the game.

“I have no idea yet,” Gasol said about playing. “I’m going to flip a coin.”

Gasol smile and walked into the players’ lounge.

As soon as Gasol entered the locker room, he stopped in Lakers Coach Phil Jackson’s office for a talk.

Gasol had participated in the shootaroud earlier in the day and Jackson said then that he was hopeful that his center would play.

Either way, if Gasol does play or doesn’t, rookie power forward Derrick Caracter probably will get some time.

At 6-9, Jackson said Caracter is an undersized power forward.

“The team in general has to support his presence on the floor,” Jackson said. “We have to help out. He’s not even a center. He’s a power forward, a small power forward at that.”

The Lakers probably will use Lamar Odom as the backup center at times during the game against the Kings at Staples Center.

Credit: Broderick Turner