All but defeated a week ago, Oracle Team USA tied the faltering Kiwis 8-8 on the scoreboard by winning its 10th race overall. Oracle was docked two points for illegally modifying boats in warmup regattas.
Race 19 is scheduled for Wednesday, weather-permitting.
Either Oracle will finish one of the greatest comebacks in sports history or Team New Zealand, marooned on match point since Wednesday, will get the elusive win it needs to claim the Auld Mug for the second time in 18 years.
Oracle, which trailed 8-1 on Wednesday, came from behind and passed the Kiwis after they tacked too early and slowed while zigzagging toward the Golden Gate Bridge.