A commitment from Donovan Mitchell to be less "exuberant" on the court helped the Utah Jazz take a 2-1 lead over the Memphis Grizzlies in their first-round playoff series.

Mitchell played just the second game of his return from injury on Saturday as Utah took the series lead with a 121-111 victory in Game 3.

After scoring 25 points on his return in Game 2, which came after a 17-game absence due to an ankle sprain, the 24-year-old shot 9-of-23 from the field to lead the scoring with 29 points.

Ten of those points came in a fourth quarter in which Memphis edged into a two-point lead for the first time in the contest with five minutes on the clock.

Mitchell, who scored two three-pointers in a strong Jazz finish, felt the benefit of having conserved some energy for the decisive moments.

"It's a long game," he said. "It's been a while and just getting back into it. That's really it.

"Understanding that trying to save your energy as much as possible, not needing to be as exuberant, I think that's the right word to use, but I think just not being as loud and kind of demonstrative in my movements."

Head coach Quin Snyder thought Mitchell's influence waned little despite his quieter approach.

"When you have a guy that has that much belief in his team-mates and that competitive fire, you know he's going to make some things happen," said Snyder.

"He's not going to be successful in every possession, but he was not going to be deterred either."

The Grizzlies edged the scoring 89-87 after the first quarter, but it was not enough to counter a poor start in front of more than 12,000 fans at their first home playoff game since April 2017.

"They made the plays down the stretch," coach Taylor Jenkins said. "Couldn't get the stops.

"The first quarter, we just didn't have the discipline. Too many breakdowns and they made us pay."

Game 4 is at FedExForum on Tuesday.

Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell was scathing in his criticism of officials after he was ejected in the thrilling 131-123 overtime defeat against the Philadelphia 76ers.

Mitchell stormed off the court and kicked a water cooler towards a security guard after he was tossed from Wednesday's showdown in Philadelphia, where the Eastern Conference-leading 76ers prevailed.

Utah's Mitchell picked up two technical fouls in overtime after 76ers All-Star Joel Embiid had forced OT with a game-tying three-pointer with 5.3 seconds remaining.

Level at 118-118 at the start of overtime, the 76ers went on to outscore NBA leaders the Jazz 13-5 in the additional period before Mitchell unleashed post-game.

"I'm never ever one to blame a ref, blame an official, but this is getting out of hand," Mitchell, who posted 33 points, said.

"There have been games like this we've one. Games we've lost. We're nice, we don't complain, we don't get frustrated, we fight through things.

"But the fact that we continuously get screwed in a way by this … It's getting f****** ridiculous."

Jazz head coach Quin Snyder added: "The challenge is when you don't get the whistles you want — and those things always happen — is to play through it and continue to compete.

"I thought we did that. Obviously, I heard Donovan's comments. Obviously, there's a level of frustration that he has, that we have, and that's something that presumably you can't control.

"But give Philly credit. Embiid hit a big shot. We were on him trying not to give up a three. And then we weren't able to close the other way and overtime got away from us. We just have to take a break, regroup and continue to compete."

The Jazz (27-9) have lost back-to-back games but still own the NBA's best record as they top the Western Conference heading into the All-Star break.

Philadelphia – riding a two-game winning streak – are half a game clear of the Brooklyn Nets in the east ahead of Sunday's All-Star Game in Atlanta.

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