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Paul Westphal, a Hall of Fame guard who was a five-time All-Star and a three-time All-NBA first-team selection, has died at the age of 70, the Phoenix Suns announced Saturday.
Westphal had been diagnosed with brain cancer in August 2020.
He grew up in Southern California and played college basketball at USC before being selected 10th overall by the Boston Celtics in the 1972 draft.Westphal won an NBA title with the Celtics in 1974 in his second season, playing a key role off the bench.
But his career really took off when he was traded to Phoenix, where his scoring average more than doubled -- to 20.5 per game -- as he helped lead the Suns to their first NBA Finals appearance in 1976
He was a five-time All-Star and three-time All-NBA First Team selection. In his career, Westphal scored a total of 12,809 points for an average of 15.6 PPG, along with 3,591 assists for an average of 4.4 APG.
Westphal coached the Suns from 1992-95 and SuperSonics from 1998-2000. His last head coaching stint came with the Kings (2009-12). His last NBA assistant coaching stint was with the Nets from 2014-16. He had a 318-279 (.533) regular-season record as a head coach and 27-22 record in the playoffs. The Suns reached the NBA Finals in his first year as head coach.
Westphal was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2019.