Gregg Popovich will not coach the San Antonio Spurs in Game 3 of the first-round playoff series against the Golden State Warriors on Thursday after the death of his wife. Instead, he will be replaced by assistant coach Ettore Messina.

Erin Popovich died Wednesday at the age of 67, the Spurs announced. She had been married to Gregg for 40 years, with two children and two grandchildren. She had been ill for some time though her cause of death has not been released.

"We're all suffering a profound loss to a really important member of our family and our team," Spurs general manager R.C. Buford said Thursday. "Erin and Gregg were best friends who were together for 40 years, and Erin's impact and influence on our organization, on our families, on our players and their families will be felt for years to come."

"I spoke to Pop this morning. He's overwhelmed by the support. He's very appreciative of the love that's been shared with our group and with him and his family and Erin's family. We'll miss Erin a lot, and the focus of our team will be on supporting Pop. But we've got basketball to get back to," he added.

Messina, 58, will replace Popovich during the Spurs' match against the Warriors, which will be played in San Antonio. He has been with the team as an assistant coach since 2014 and was inducted into the Italian Basketball Hall of Fame for his 17 seasons coaching in the country, according to Yahoo Sports. He won nine championships while coaching in Italy and Russia. 

The former EuroLeague coach led the Spurs in two November 2014 games while Popovich sat out due to a medical procedure. Messina also took the helm on March 7 and March 8 during the 2015-16 season while Popovich tended to a family emergency, ESPN reported.

Meanwhile, the Spurs have lost two games to the Warriors in their playoff series. The two teams will face off Thursday in San Antonio after the first two matches were held in Golden State. Game 3 starts at 9:30 ET the at the AT&T Center.