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Saturday State Sports Briefs: Admirals look to gain playoff berth on final weekend of regular season

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Pierce County Herald
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MILWAUKEE - The Milwaukee Admirals will play their final three regular season games this weekend - and the Admirals' magic number is five to clinch its 11th straight American Hockey League playoff berth.

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Milwaukee and Rockford are tied at the moment for the eighth-and-final American Hockey League Western Conference playoff spot with 83 points. The Admirals have momentum, after winning 13 of their last 18 contests after beting Charlotte last night 6-4. Tonight, the Admirals are at Chicago and close out their regular season on Sunday evening at Peoria.

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The Brewers are reporting infielder Taylor Green will miss the rest of the season after having surgery on his left hip. The team recalled right-handed pitcher Hiram Buros from Nashville.

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It isn't clear if it's a hard deadline, but the Milwaukee Bucks have told NBA Commissioner David Stern they will have a plan for a new arena by the time the current lease expires at the Bradley Center in September 2017. The team and the arena had extended the current lease last fall. A task force of officials with the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce will be formed to come up with recommendations. To this point, no arena plan has been suggested and there is no plan for financing. Team owner Herb Kohl has said he will make a significant financial investment in the Bucks' new home.

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Some national pundits do not expect the Milwaukee Bucks to win a single game in their best-of-seven first-round playoff series against the Miami Heat. And the big reason is LeBron James. After being named the league's MVP a year ago, James led Miami to an NBA title last June - and he kept the pedal-to-the-metal this year by stepping up his game even more. James led the NBA in field goals made. He also set new career-highs in shooting percentage, three-point percentage, average rebounds, and double-doubles - all while taking fewer shots than in any season of his 10-year career. James says numbers don't concern him - it's championships. But it's his 56-percent shooting average and his increased tenacity that could make Milwaukee a foot-note in the Heat's quest for a second straight title. His teammate Shane Battier says James should be a unanimous choice by the media for the league's MVP. If so, it would be the first time that ever happened. We'll soon find out what kind of fight the Bucks have, as they promise to make the most of their first playoff appearance in three years. The best-of-seven series begins Sunday night in Miami.

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Green Bay Packers' general manager Ted Thompson used to be known as the man who only trades down on draft day, with the goal of getting more picks. Thompson says he still believes it's a good strategy to nail down a good player. But as he enters his ninth NFL Draft next week, Thompson says he's also putting more of an emphasis on quality up the ladder. He says he's more willing to trade up if he sees value - just like in 2009, when he traded up to get Clay Matthews as a second pick in the first round. Before then, Thompson's Packers pulled off nine trades on draft day - all of them with the goal of snaring more picks. Thompson has also insisted that he focuses on the future in the war room, and not so much on immediate needs. But the Pack obviously scuttled that theory a year ago, when it loaded up on players who helped them shed their 2011 status of having the NFL's worst defense. This time, the Pack has a host of needs which include linemen on both sides of the ball, defensive backs, and possibly a running back. The first round of the draft is Thursday night. The other six rounds will take place next Friday night and Saturday.

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SCORES

MIDWEST LEAGUE

Beloit at Burlington, postponed

Bowling Green 5, Dayton 2

Fort Wayne 7, Lansing 3

Lake County at Great Lakes (2), postponed

Peoria 4, Cedar Rapids 1

Quad Cities at Kane County, postponed

South Bend at West Michigan, postponed

Wisconsin at Clinton, postponed

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AMERICAN HOCKEY LEAGUE

Milwaukee 6, Charlotte 4

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