If the Nets could have completely taken last night off instead of playing the Wizards, they would have.

Instead, after Sunday’s loss in Toronto locked them into the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs — and into a matchup this weekend with either the Hawks or Bulls (Atlanta holds a one-half game lead with two games left to one for Chicago) — the Nets instead took the occasion to rest virtually all of their key contributors.

In fact, the entire starting five from Sunday’s game — Deron Williams (left knee contusion), Joe Johnson (sore left heel), Keith Bogans (tight lower back), Reggie Evans (sore left shoulder) and Brook Lopez (mid back contusion) — got a chance to rest, along with Jerry Stackhouse (stiff neck). The backups still managed to come away with a 106-101 win over the Wizards in front of a crowd of 16,774 at Barclays Center.

“We’ve got some guys that ... if we had won and were still having a possibility for the third seed ... probably would not have played because it’s back-to-back, and we had some other guys that just got hit,” Nets interim coach P.J. Carlesimo said. “Deron’s one of them. Deron, between Indiana [Friday] and Toronto got hit about 19 times, so it might’ve just been prudent to not play him anyhow.

“It’s really a combination of the back-to-back, the playoffs on the weekend and the fact that we can’t go up or down right now, but the injuries are a little more of a factor than just flat-out resting them.”

Carlesimo added he hoped to get most, if not all, of the players who sat out last night at least some work in tomorrow’s season finale against the Pistons in Brooklyn.

“That’s the plan,” he said. “If they’re healthy, we want to play them. They’re not going to play 40 minutes, but we’ve been saying all along ... they could get hurt in practice Thursday or Friday, too, so they’ve got to be sharp and they’ve got to be playing.”

In a bit of a surprise, the Nets (48-33) did see one of the main players, small forward Gerald Wallace, return to the starting lineup after sitting out the previous two games with a lower left leg contusion he suffered on April 9 in a win over the Celtics in Boston.