The Oklahoma City Thunder are now one loss away from elimination after they got blown out by the Utah Jazz, 113-96, in Game 4 of their Western Conference first-round series on Monday at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah.

All-Star swingman Paul George paced the Thunder with 32 points on 9-for-21 shooting while 2017 NBA MVP Russell Westbrook recorded 23 points and 14 rebounds in the game. However, none couldn't stop rookie sensation Donovan Mitchell, who pumped up 33 points on 13-for-28 shooting with seven rebounds and four dimes.

Facing the prospect of an early round exit, the Thunder must pick things up as the series shifts back to OKC for Game 5.

Another loss would mean the end of an up-and-down season for the Thunder and the start of what could be a make or break summer for the franchise with the future of George and Carmelo Anthony hanging in the balance.

Insider Report on George’s No.1 landing spot

Speaking of George’s future, there have been rumblings about a change in the superstar’s plan for his upcoming free agency.

The Los Angeles Lakers have long been viewed the favorites to land the L.A area native George because of its resources, promising young core, and rich winning tradition. However, the thought of going back home is no longer the prevailing chatter coming from George’s camp.

According to a source close to the situation, George is now leaning towards returning to the Eastern Conference with the Philadelphia 76ers emerging as his preferred landing spot in free agency.

The source, who has strong ties with people within George’s circle, added that star doesn’t view the Lakers the hands-down favorite in the West even with their young stars and the inclusion of another max-level free agent. Moreover, the All-Star is no longer inclined to stay in a very competitive conference in which a 50-win season would probably not be enough to clinch a playoff berth.

“Now that George has a taste of how brutal Western Conference basketball is like, he now strongly considers going back East Coast, joining Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and other guys in Philly. At least, that’s his mindset right now,” the source told BN Sports.

Philly is the Way!

The Sixers, who are one win away from moving to the Eastern Conference finals after a 52-win regular-season away, will enter the summer with lots of flexibility in their payroll.

With the contracts of JJ Redick ($23 million), Trevor Booker ($9 million) and Amir Johnson ($11 million) off the books, Philadelphia will have more or less $30 million in cap space this summer. That amount of cash is enough to land George, who is eligible for a starting salary of $29 million in year one of a max deal.

It’s worth mentioning that Philly is also in the running for LeBron James, but he might not be a great fit next to a ball-dominant guard in Simmons. Meanwhile, George proved during his one-year stay in OKC that he can also thrive off the ball. The 27-year-old forward averaged 21.9 points on 43 percent FG shooting and 40 percent from 3s. Landing George, who is also an excellent shot creator in the perimeter, would be a huge boost for the Sixers who are on the doorstep of establishing a new dynasty in the East.