Kim has powered Republic of Korea through the tournament, getting them out of a testing group and then helping dominate Italy in the quarter-finals.
But today was a game too far for the 24-year-old, who was powerless to stop the relentless USA front line, with Hugh McCutcheon's side putting themselves three sets away from what would be a first gold medal.
Kim was restricted to 20 - a low score for her - as the USA built a near-impenetrable wall at the net, winning 11 points on the block.
Destinee Hooker, the player of the tournament, again led the way for McCutcheon, top-scoring with 24 points, while her usual partners were not too far away, with Foluke Akinradewo adding 12 and Jordan Larson 14.
Statistically, there was little to choose between the sides apart from on the block, with the main difference being the USA's ability to string points together at crucial times.
It was point-for-point through to 15-15 in the first set until some solid defence from Lindsey Berg allowed them to win a point they had no right to. From there, they won three in a row and closed the first set out.
The second followed a similar pattern, before Kim took a hold and helped the Republic of Korea edge ahead to 20-17. They could not preserve that lead, however, with the speed of Berg's serves allowing the likes of Larson and Hooker to pick and choose when they found the floor.
The third set was more of a routine affair, with Republic of Korea clearly beaten apart from a mini-resurgence in the middle stages, with Logan Tom wrapping things up with a spike that flew off the hands of Kim Hae-Ran.