Napheesa Collier's cold is better than it was last week, but it still lingers.

According to Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve, it settled in her star forward's chest, making it difficult to breathe. "Just constant yuck,'' Reeve described it. "It's been hard on her, physically.''

Collier has been dealing with plantar fasciitis pain in her foot for a while now. But she plays through it. She rests when she can, she gets rehab when necessary.

And then she plays, and the Lynx win.

Since Collier entered the WNBA three years ago she has led the league in minutes played. She played 33.3 minutes a game as a rookie, 34.2 last year, this year a hair under 35. The most versatile defender at her position on the team, she will usually draw the toughest assignment.

Reeve often talks of Collier's motor, how hard she works, how rarely she lets difficult moments slow her down.

And things have been difficult, at times. As the Lynx head down the home stretch of the season, Collier is leading the team in minutes and scoring with a career-high 16.5 points. But things have been tougher this year. Her .450 shooting percentage and .228 three-point shooting are career lows; she was a .408 three-point shooter last year and made better than 52% of her shots overall.

For a player who relies so much on her ability to make threes to get into the paint, it has been a struggle at times this season.

But she continues playing. And she continues to find ways to help the Lynx win, something they've done 11 times in their past 14 games, including the past three.

"She wants it to be going differently,'' Reeve said. "But she does not get down on herself. Now, she may internally. But we never, ever see it. Not one time has she ever quit on us. That's a very uncommon trait. It makes it hard to get mad at her.''

That last part was a joke. Reeve can be hard on Collier; at one point during Tuesday's victory over New York at Target Center, Reeve got after Collier on the bench. But, as so often happens, Reeve will get caught up in the game, maybe get after Collier, then look at the box score at the end of the day and see:

Twenty-one points, a career-high-tying 14 rebounds, including four on the offensive end, two steals and a block. On defense, strong work against both Natasha Howard and Rebecca Allen. A game in which she played all but 1 minute and 59 seconds.

The Lynx started the game without center Sylvia Fowles (shoulder) and guard Layshia Clarendon (lower leg). Damiris Dantas was lost to a foot injury in the opening moments of the second half.

Collier? She started the game 1-for-6, but she ended it 7-for-13. Those four offensive rebounds? Three of them led to scores, twice on her own put-backs. Some shots are still not falling for her. But that motor keeps running.

"It's draining to be sick,'' she said. "And to play so many games. I feel better than last week, for sure. But this is the fun part (of the season), getting into the playoffs, seeding. I want to be there for my team as much as I can.''

Collier said her mechanics look good on film and feel good on the court. "Yeah, I'm not shooting good right now, but I'll continue [to take the shots],'' she said. "I'll get out of this slump, I hope, soon. You go through slumps. I feel this one is a little longer than I'd like it to be. But mentally I feel fine.''

In some ways, Reeve said, Collier could be going through the first really difficult stretch of her young career. "The climb is easy,'' Reeve said. "Now her responsibility is different. What is expected, as far as a level of consistency, is there every night.''