With just 13 minutes to go, Warrent Gatland’s side led 31-17 but they conceded two tries and then missed a drop-goal attempt after the siren.
The Super Rugby champions were able to capitalise on Iain Henderson’s contentious sin bin at 65 minutes for a dangerous clear-out on Jordie Barrett.
A Tommy Seymour double and George North try had put the Lions in control, but down to 14 men they shipped two tries to Wes Goosen and Vaea Fifita.
It wasn’t the result the Lions wanted in their final tour match as coach Gatland looks for reinforcements for this week’s second Test after Saturday’s defeat to the All Blacks.
“It’s very frustrating to have given up a lead twice,” said Lions captain Rory Best, adding: “It’ll be the last game (of the tour) for a lot of us.”
The draw adds to midweek losses to the Blues and the Highlanders – where the tourists also ceded promising positions, and will be a big dent to the Lions’ confidence ahead of the second Test.
“We’ll make sure that we knuckle down, roll up the sleeves and whoever’s lucky enough to play in the last two games we’ll make they’re well prepared and ready to win the game on Saturday,” says Best.