The powerhouse US women's basketball team fought off a strong challenge by rivals Australia to win their London Olympics semi-final 86-73, which put them in position to win a fifth consecutive gold medal.
The victory also extended the US team's Olympic winning streak to 40 games, a run stretching back to 1992 in Barcelona when they won the bronze medal.
Australia, beaten by the US team in the three previous Olympic finals, led by seven points during the second quarter and by four at halftime before the Americans finished the third quarter on a 10-3 run to take a 65-59 lead.
The Americans picked up where they left off and outscored Australia 8-3 at the start of the fourth quarter to build an 11-point lead and were never seriously threatened thereafter.
The US women will face the winner of the other semi-final between France and Russia, while Australia will play the loser for the bronze medal on Sunday (NZT).
Diana Taurasi and Tina Charles shared scoring honours for the Americans with 14 points, while Sue Bird added 13.
Centre Liz Cambage led Australia with 19 points, but was held scoreless in the second half, and Lauren Jackson posted 14 points.