Oracle's remarkable comeback closed the Kiwis' lead to 8-6 and no doubt has all of New Zealand on edge.
Team New Zealand has been on match point since Wednesday, only to watch Spithill and Oracle's improved 72-foot catamaran sail ahead in a determined attempt to keep the oldest trophy in international sports.
Oracle has won eight races. But it was docked two points for illegally modifying boats in warmup regattas called the America's Cup World Series, so it needs three more wins.
The margin in Race 16 was 33 seconds.
Because Race 16 was delayed a half-hour due to light wind, Race 17 was postponed until Tuesday.