Prior to the game last night, Pop heaped praise on the Lakers, and then he went out and broke their hearts. He’s an evil genius. From ESPN: “I think they are the best team in the West,’ Popovich said during his pregame remarks before the Lakers hosted the Spurs. ‘I think the struggles are overblown by you guys and gals. They are who they are. They’ve been doing this a long time. They just won two [championships] in a row again and there’s no doubt perhaps there’s going to be some nights when it’s just not all there emotionally. We run into that now, we’ve got the best record and we run into that and we haven’t won a championship in a long time so we don’t have that excuse and it happens to us.’ Coming into Thursday’s game, the 34-15 Lakers trailed the 40-8 Spurs by 6.5 games for first place in the West. ‘I think they’re the best, I really do,’ Popovich said. ‘They’re put together the way they need to be put together. They got the experience. They know what they’re doing. [Lakers coach] Phil [Jackson is] going to be patient with them and do what he does and they’ll be there come playoff time.’ Said Jackson: ‘I’d like to agree with him, [but] my record doesn’t show that right now.’”