The US men's basketball team has advanced to its third straight Olympic gold-medal game, beating Spain 82-76 on Saturday morning (NZT).

Klay Thompson scored 22 points for the Americans, who will play Australia or Serbia on Monday morning (NZT) for their third consecutive Olympic title.

The US were just good enough again against Spain, winning a much different game than the all-offense matchups that decided the 2008 and 2012 finals.

This one featured several technical fouls and neither team got into an offensive flow.

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It was the lowest-scoring game for the Americans in the Olympics since the 2004 semi-finals, when they managed 81 in a loss to Argentina.

Kevin Durant added 14 points and Kyrie Irving had 13 for the US.

Pau Gasol scored 23 points for Spain, which made it tough on the Americans for the third straight Olympics, but again had to settle for coming close against the world's No.1 team.