Suns' Isaiah Canaan fractured left ankle in horrific fall vs. Mavericks

Yahoo Sports

In the closing seconds of the first quarter of Wednesday night’s game against the Dallas Mavericks, Phoenix Suns guard Isaiah Canaan landed awkwardly on a layup attempt and fractured his left ankle, suffering a gruesome injury that resulted in him being carried off the court on a stretcher.

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With five seconds remaining in the opening quarter, Canaan raced down the court, looking to add to an early 18-point Suns lead before the buzzer sounded. As he elevated for a layup, Dallas defenders Wesley Matthews and Yogi Ferrell converged in an attempt to protect the rim. Canaan was thrown off-balance by the contact from Matthews, landing flat with all of his weight on his left ankle, which bent in an unnatural fashion.

The Suns’ Isaiah Canaan was injured in the first quarter on Wednesday night. (AP)
The Suns’ Isaiah Canaan was injured in the first quarter on Wednesday night. (AP)

It was immediately clear that something was very, very wrong. ESPN color commentator Jon Barry exclaimed, “Oh, no!” Play-by-play man Dave Pasche said, “Awful landing. Don’t look. The left leg. Oh, man. That is unfortunate.”

The other players on the court, and on the Suns bench, all reacted in shock. So, it seemed, did Canaan, who stayed stunningly still in the paint as he waited for medical personnel to come to his aid.

I’m not going to post a video of the play itself. The reactions tell the story just fine by themselves.

Shortly after Canaan was wheeled back to the locker room, the Suns gave official word:

The 6-foot Canaan, a two-time Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Year and 2012 Second-Team All-American at Murray State, was a second-round draft pick of the Houston Rockets back in 2013. The undersized guard has faced a hard road to carving out a niche at the NBA level, earning D-League All-Star honors in 2014 before breaking into the Rockets’ rotation during the 2014-15 season. That stay was short-lived, though, as he was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers at the 2015 trade deadline.

Canaan would make 51 starts in parts of two seasons in Philly for the rebuilding Sixers before linking up with the Chicago Bulls for a deep-bench role last season. After being waived last summer, the 26-year-old guard had short stints with the Oklahoma City Thunder and Rockets before finding himself back on the market, looking for a home. He found one in Phoenix in mid-December, earning rotation minutes for a team focused on the future and looking for answers in the backcourt after trading away Eric Bledsoe. Canaan averaged 9.4 points and 4.2 assists in 22.9 minutes per game in his first 18 appearances in Phoenix, including one start.

Immediately after word of Canaan’s injury began to spread, support for the injured guard started pouring in, both from his former college coach, Steve Prohm …

… and around the NBA community:

We’ll provide more updates on the injury and Canaan’s status as information becomes available.

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Dan Devine is a writer and editor for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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