Gregg Popovich will not return to Spurs' bench for Game 4

Gregg Popovich will not coach the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday for Game 4 of their first-round playoff series with the Golden State Warriors, the team announced.

Popovich also did not coach Game 3 on Thursday after his wife, Erin, died Wednesday.

Just as he did in Game 3, Ettore Messina will fill in for Popovich for Game 4. The Spurs trail the Warriors 3-0 in the best-of-seven series.

"I think that everybody did a fantastic job as players, as people working in the organization, as staff, really trying to support each other and face this moment like it should be faced," Messina said after Game 3. "With support of friends. There is nothing that should be faced individually at this level of sad event. ...

"They need to be proud of what they've been doing in this very difficult year. They can't feel ashamed because they're losing 3-0 to the Warriors. We have to be also proud of what we have accomplished. Sunday's another day, and hopefully we'll get to Game 5."

Erin Popovich died early Wednesday at the age of 67. She had been battling an illness for an extended period. The couple was married for four decades and had two children -- Jill and Mickey -- as well as two grandchildren.

"[We] just have to go play," LaMarcus Aldridge said after the Game 3 loss. "Every guy on this team has competed, we try to leave it all out there, try to follow the game plan, try to make things happen. We just have to go out and do that, but even more. Just take your shots with confidence and if it goes in, it goes in."

After Game 3, many Spurs players said it was tough to maintain focus against the Warriors.

"It was very tough," Tony Parker said. "Sad day. Tough to play basketball tonight."

Said Aldridge: "You know he's more than just a coach. He's close with all of us, so to have him have to go through this, it was tough."

Danny Green said there was "a big difference" having Messina coaching the team instead of Popovich.

"I mean, you go through a season with anybody for 82 games -- preseason and playoffs, you see them every day and you're used to them being there. Especially with his presence," Green said of Popovich. "When that's not there, it's a big difference. I'm not saying it's a drop off. It's just different. I think Ettore did a great job. ...

"Regardless of how good or not good somebody is, if you're missing that one piece ... you're missing a piece. It's different."

ESPN's Michael C. Wright contributed to this report.