buy time

buy (some) time (to do something in order to be allowed more time; to obtain a longer period before something happens) — получить выигрыш во времени; тянуть время, оттянуть время; оттянуть решающий момент; выиграть время
Someone who is buying time is making excuses or finding ways to delay a certain event.

Examples :
... He tried to buy time by saying he hadn't been well.
We were quickly running out of money but managed to buy time by getting a small loan.
It's not a permanent solution but it will buy some time until global economies start to recover. — Это не решение проблемы, но оно позволит получить некоторый выигрыш во времени до тех пор, пока мировая экономика не начнет выползать из кризиса.

[play for time]
[drag one's feet]

сf.:
[bide one's time]