Dennis Smith Jr. of the Nets scores on Brook Lopez of the...

Dennis Smith Jr. of the Nets scores on Brook Lopez of the Bucks during their game at Barclays Center on Wednesday. Credit: Errol Anderson

One Nets team from the New York area went into Wednesday’s game down two players against a team from Wisconsin.

That team would be the G League’s Long Island Nets, who earlier in the day promoted Noah Clowney and Dariq Whitehead to the parent Nets.

Without that duo, Long Island was walloped by the Wisconsin Herd, 114-82, in a game played before 3,349 at the Nassau Coliseum.

Brooklyn was also playing a team from Wisconsin on Wednesday - the Milwaukee Bucks - and was also down multiple players. Four, to be exact, because of injuries and load management on the second night of a back-to-back.

One night after the Nets sent the Pistons to an NBA record 27th consecutive defeat in a hotly-contested 118-112 victory in Detroit, coach Jacque Vaughn sat starters Cam Johnson, Nic Claxton and Spencer Dinwiddie against Milwaukee.

Reserve Dorian Finney-Smith also was out in a gametime decision.

What might have been expected to be a blowout loss for the Nets did not materialize, at least not in the first half. The Bucks’ biggest lead was 11, and Milwaukee went into halftime with a 66-59 advantage.

The star of the first half for the Nets was two-way player Jalen Wilson, who scored 14 points in 11 minutes off the bench.

“Just get the ball moving,” Wilson said on YES Network at halftime. “Be aggressive. They’re an older team, likes to play at their own pace, so just trying to speed ‘em up a little bit.”

Also in the first half: Clowney, the 19-year-old first-round pick, scored the first eight points of his career in his second NBA game. Vaughn used 11 players, including Whitehead, who did not take a shot in just over six minutes of action.

Continuing the theme: Even though the Nets were down just seven points, Bridges and Thomas were replaced by Trendon Watford and two-way player Armoni Brooks to start the second half.

Vaughn said only Dinwiddie was out purely because he needed the rest; the other three players are nursing injuries (knees for Johnson and Finney-Smith, an ankle for Claxton).

“The only guy that’s essentially resting tonight is Spencer,” Vaughn said. “You get maintenance from Nic and CJ, just some nagging injuries, and this game unfortunately presents an opportunity where I’ve got to think short term and long term and make executive decisions for the betterment of the group. So that’s where we are tonight.”

If the plan was always to give some players a game off during this back-to-back, it made basketball sense to do it against the woeful Pistons rather than the powerful Bucks, who came in at 22-8 after losing to the Knicks on Christmas Day.

It’s tough luck for Nets fans who bought tickets to Wednesday’s game, though, and were hoping the team would put out its best lineup against Giannis Antetokounmpo and Co.

Asked what he would say to any disappointed fans, Vaughn said: “Spencer has played all 30 games. He hasn’t missed a game. Those are executive decisions that I have to make, as an organization that we have to make, that those guys at other arenas have played sick and through pain and it’s unfortunate that tonight they just got to a point where we’re putting them in harm’s way by putting them out there.”

At least Antetokounmpo played. He had been listed as questionable with a sore right calf. The Nets might have appreciated facing Milwaukee without its star, but the fans probably wanted to see Antetokounmpo.

So the Nets’ starting lineup was Mikal Bridges, Royce O’Neal, Day’Ron Sharpe, Cam Thomas and Dennis Smith Jr.

It was the first start of the season for Sharpe and Smith.

Bridges is the active NBA leader in regular season consecutive games played (Wednesday was his 423rd). He has never missed a regular season game in his NBA career.

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