Assistant coach Brett Brown, the former longtime coach of the Philadelphia 76ers, filled in for Popovich.
Popovich, 73, spoke to reporters about an hour and a half before tipoff, but he was ruled out sometime thereafter.
San Antonio came into the night with an overall record of 6-11 but had lost nine of its previous 10 games.
Despite his team’s struggles, the NBA’s all-time leader in coaching wins offered a positive perspective.
“It’s about values and goals, that’s how you get through it,” Popovich said. “And beyond that, you kind of slap yourself: It’s really a tough life. I can’t pay my electric bill, the players can’t pay their gas bills and gas is too expensive for them to buy. C’mon, give me a break. This is the greatest job in the world, so if you complain, you’re an idiot.”
Spurs’ Gregg Popovich (illness) sits out game against Lakers
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