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Late in the second quarter of a game that wasn't going their way, Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve told her star Napheesa Collier it was up to her.

Change the tide of the game.

And that's exactly what Collier did.

In an 81-76 victory over the Los Angeles Sparks at Target Center Friday, on a night when the league's best three-point shooting team struggled from behind the arc, when the play was physical and the outcome was going to be based more on grit than glamor, Collier helped the Lynx take over the game.

In order:

Collier scored 30 points with six rebounds, two assists and a franchise-record eight steals, the most in a WNBA game since 2016. So the guess here is that Collier is a good listener.

"She did tell me," said Collier after the game, holding daughter Mila's hand. "She's like, 'Go in there. We need you to focus in to change the tide a little bit.' I think everyone does what they can do to do what the team needs."

The Lynx (10-3) won their third straight and for the sixth time in seven games, beating an improving Sparks team (4-9) that came with physical play right away.

On a night when the Lynx went 6-for-23 on three-pointers, turned the ball over 17 times and again struggled at times on the defensive boards, they still found a way to win.

And it started with Collier, after her conversation with Reeve.

Collier scored nine points in an 11-4 run to end the half, cutting the Sparks' lead to five.

And then the rest of the team came along. In a shut-down third quarter the Lynx outscored the Sparks 20-12, held Los Angeles to 6-for-20 shooting, taking the lead for good.

Turns out the same chemistry that forged a strong start to the season led to a strong finish Friday.

"The most important thing with this team is that, through the tough moments, the frustrating moments, they don't break," Reeve said. "They don't separate. They problem-solve together."

BOXSCORE: Lynx 81, Los Angeles 76

Courtney Williams had her first double-double in a Lynx uniform. She scored 15 points with 10 assists and eight rebounds, leading the team in the last two categories. She has 19 assists and two turnovers in her last two games.

"That's a testament to my teammates," she said. "You don't get assists until your teammates knock down a shot."

Finally, they started falling. Bridget Carleton hit three of six threes and scored 11. Alanna Smith had 12 points, seven rebounds, three blocks, three assists.

But this was Collier's game to win, and she did, on both ends.

Thirty points at one end, while holding Sparks rookie Cameron Brink scoreless at the other. The Lynx led by 10 with three minutes left. And while Reeve again wasn't thrilled with the way her team closed out the game, she was very happy with the way the team won. Good teams win hard games when things aren't flowing. That started with defense. L.A. shot 30% in the third quarter, 37.1 in the second half.

Great players change the direction of those games.

"She's such a humble superstar," Williams said. "No ego. She comes out, 20 and 10 every night. I've never played with anyone like her, so humble in the way she does things."

So effective, too. Collier was 0-for-6 on threes, 11-for-16 on twos. The Lynx were 6-for-23 from behind the arc, 24-for-38 on twos.

"That's what she gets paid to do," Reeve joked. "To be the ones, in games like this, to figure it out."