Why Warriors should be happy Raptors beat Bucks in Game 3 of East finals

Dalton Johnson
NBC Sports BayArea

Why Warriors should be happy Raptors beat Bucks in Game 3 of East finals originally appeared on nbcsportsbayarea.com

Publicly, the Warriors have no rooting interest in the Eastern Conference finals. Why would they?

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They're one win away from reaching their fifth consecutive NBA Finals and in the midst of one of the greatest sports dynasties of all time.

What they should want, however, is a long series between the Bucks and the Raptors. And that's exactly why Golden State should be happy Toronto beat Milwaukee 118-112 in double overtime in Game 3 of the best-of-seven series Sunday.

After the Bucks dominated the Raptors in the first two games of the series by a combined 30 points in Milwaukee, Toronto held them off north of the border. This series is guaranteed to go at least five games now. Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo played 45 minutes before fouling out, and the Raptors were led by Kawhi Leonard's 36 points over 52 minutes. 

A longer series and more minutes played by the two superstars is a win-win for the Warriors. 

Despite winning five consecutive games and being ahead three games to none over the Trail Blazers in the Western Conference finals, the Warriors are without two of their top players. Forward Kevin Durant is rehabbing a strained right calf, and center DeMarcus Cousins is on his way back from a torn left quad. 

Durant didn't travel with the team to Portland and will be out for Game 4 on Monday night. Cousins, however, is said to be closer than KD in returning to the Dubs

[RELATED: Steph believes Warriors won't be slowed by Iggy's injury]

Even without the two stars, the Warriors have been on a roll. But players, and even one mother, know how important Durant and Cousins are in the team's attempt to three-peat.

The NBA Finals don't begin until May 30. The Warriors can have over a week to rest and get healthy if they sweep the Blazers. At the same time, their opponent could be significantly less rested, especially if the Raptors keep winning.

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