There is the expression running out the clock, which has quite a few synonyms. According to Wikipedia,
In sports, running out the clock (also known as running down the clock, stonewalling, killing the clock, chewing the clock, stalling, time-wasting (or timewasting) or eating clock) is the practice of a winning team allowing the clock to expire through a series of preselected plays, either to preserve a lead or hasten the end of a one-sided contest.
Such measures expend time but do not otherwise have a tactical purpose. This is usually done by a team that is winning by a slim margin (or, occasionally, tied) near the end of a game, in order to reduce the time available for the opposing team to score. Generally, it is the opposite strategy of running up the score.
The expression run out the clock is derived from American sports that depend on timed periods or quarters, such as basketball or football. In sports, a team may run out the clock by making safe, meaningless plays so the players may maintain their lead. The expression came into use in the mid-twentieth century.
Dictionaries give definitions as
- to maintain control of the ball in the closing minutes of a game (Collins)
- In sports, to protect a lead by using up as much possible time that remains in a game or match without giving the opposing team a chance to score, generally by maintaining a passive or defensive strategy. (FreeDict)
- to keep control of the ball or puck near the end of a game so that the opponent will not have a chance to score. (M-W)