The backup point guard was fouled as he drove to the basket in the final seconds of the first quarter. His ankle gave way on a hard, awkward landing, and his left foot was pointing in the wrong direction as his body tumbled to the floor.
As trainers rushed to Canaan, the crowd groaned and some of his shocked teammates covered their eyes or looked away. Phoenix guard Devin Booker pulled his jersey over his face.
Team doctor Tom Carter twisted the foot and ankle back into their proper positions and said afterward that Canaan never uttered a word of pain.
He was loaded onto a stretcher and wheeled off the court.
"It's hard for fans and everyone sitting right there, and teammates especially, a guy they battle with every day. It's their friend on and off the court,'' Suns interim coach Jay Triano said. "I used the timeout to let us say a quick prayer and get us refocused again to keep playing.
"Not much we can do. He was in the hands of our medical staff and we trust they do their job and we had to keep doing ours.''
Phoenix won 102-88 to halt a five-game losing streak.
Triano said Canaan would undergo surgery on Thursday.
In his fifth NBA season, Canaan was signed by the Suns on Dec. 13 after being waived by Houston on Oct. 28. He entered the night averaging 9.4 points and 4.2 assists in 18 games with Phoenix.