The biggest news for the Nets last night wasn’t their easy 104-83 win over the 76ers, or the fact their magic number to clinch the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference and homecourt advantage in the first round dropped to three games.

It wasn’t even the way Brook Lopez and Reggie Evans combined to torch Philadelphia in the paint. Instead, it was the fact Joe Johnson, who has been battling a sore left heel and a right quadriceps contusion in recent weeks, continues to see improvement in both with the playoffs set to begin next weekend.

“I feel pretty good,” Johnson said after scoring 11 points on 5-for-10 shooting in 23 minutes in the win. “I’m just trying to get in a rhythm with these guys coming down the stretch of the season, and going into the postseason.

“I think it’s very valuable and important that I’m just able to get out there and get up and down the court and have fun and just try to make something happen on both ends of the court.”

Both Johnson, originally listed as a game-time decision, and Deron Williams were little more than spectators for much of the night, thanks to the stellar work of Evans and Lopez inside. The two starting big men for the Nets were dominant early, setting the tone for what turned into a comfortable win. Lopez finished the first quarter with 15 points, seven rebounds and three blocked shots, while Evans came out of it with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

“I feed off of Brook a lot, especially when he has his jumper going and his post-game working,” Evans said after finishing with 17 points and 24 rebounds to give him a league-leading ninth game this season with 20 or more boards. “Whenever Brook is playing well, it is always a plus for us.”

Lopez, meanwhile, finished with 29 points and 11 rebounds as the Nets (45-32) put the game into cruise control and never looked back once they responded to a quick 13-5 Sixers run to open the second quarter by putting together a 15-4 run of their own to put the game away for good.

That allowed the Nets — eliminated from the Atlantic Division race last night because of the Knicks’ win over the Wizards — to get their starters plenty of much-needed rest heading into tonight’s game in Boston, the second of a six-game in nine-day stretch to end the season for the Nets.

“I was definitely happy we put this one away early and that our second unit and third unit came in and finished the game,” said Williams, who finished with 11 points and four assists after the Nets built an 18-point lead at halftime without him scoring a point, “because we can definitely use the rest going into [tonight].”