"Seems like him and Kevin Love don't miss against us," Durant said of Barea, who tormented them in the Western Conference finals in 2011 and had a triple-double in a double-overtime loss to the Thunder last season. "Seems like every team has that guy and I think those are the guys against us. Next time we've just got to do a better job."
Serge Ibaka had 14 points and nine rebounds, but Westbrook missed 19 shots and turned the ball over eight times in an off night.
Alexey Shved had 12 points, 12 assists and seven rebounds for the Wolves, who are trying to claw their way back to respectability after years at the bottom of the Western Conference.
With a nucleus of Love, Rubio and Pekovic, there is optimism here for the first time in a long time.
The Thunder stormed into Target Center riding the longest winning streak since the team moved to Oklahoma City, bullying opponents by an average of 14.2 points per game as they warm up for a run at a second straight finals appearance.
Rubio was playing his third game since being activated from a torn ACL in his left knee that had kept him out since March 9. He had a scintillating debut last Saturday, throwing no-look passes between his legs and looking as if he'd never left. But it's been slower going in the ensuing two games. He was a non-factor in a loss in Orlando on Monday and had trouble getting going again against the Thunder.
His handle wasn't nearly as sticky as usual and he was thwarted every time he tried to penetrate, then could be seen wincing in pain after an awkward landing on a shot in the second quarter. Adelman immediately pulled him, but Rubio returned in the second half.
"We battled, we fought. I'm proud of our guys," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. "We had a great streak, a great month going. But we lost to a very good team. We knew sooner or later they were going to get hot. They got hot tonight."
NOTES: Kevin Martin did not play for the Thunder because of a right thigh contusion. ... The Timberwolves waived G/F Josh Howard on Thursday after an MRI revealed a torn ACL in his right knee. ... The Thunder lost for the first time in six tries on the second night of a back to back.