run out the clock

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run out the clock

In sports, to protect a lead by using up as much remaining time in a game or match as possible without giving the opposing team a chance to score, generally by maintaining a passive or defensive strategy. With just a narrow two-point lead, the home team will certainly try to run out the clock to hold out for a win. I don't know, Jim, there's a lot of game time left for them to start running out the clock already.
See also: clock, out, run

run out the clock

  (American & Australian) also kill the clock (American)
to keep the ball away from the team competing against you at the end of a game so that they cannot score any points The Pistons thought they were running out the clock but lost the ball and the game in the last nine seconds.
See race against the clock, watch the clock, work against the clock
See also: clock, out, run