It was the spark for a flurry of action and not long after a minute later, Dimitar Berbatov scored his second league goal of the season in some style. Aaron Lennon rounded off the afternoon with a third in injury time.
There were three changes from the side that defeated Bayer Leverkusen just a few days ago, with Defoe and Tom Huddlestone stepping in for Robbie Keane and Teemu Tainio.
There was some first minute fizz from Lennon that got events off to a lively beginning with Berbatov handing an early test to Chris Kirkland in the Wigan goal. Over the next ten minutes or so it was the visitors who were the perkier, demonstrating that there hadn't arrived merely to contain.
This was shown to be true on 24 minutes when David Wright swung over a deep cross from the right, Lee McCulloch applied a knock down and Camara hit home high past Paul Robinson to give Wigan the lead.
It was nearly a short-lived advantage as Defoe had a real chance to level after Kirkland saved low following clever play from Steed Malbranque. The ball came back from the England squad man and into the path of the dashing Defoe, but the goalkeeper did really well to recover and provide a big shield at his near post.
Lennon then did his best to supply Malbranque with a shooting chance in front of goal, but the ball was pinged with some power from the right hand side of the area and the Frenchman struggled to adjust his footing in order to make the required connection.
Huddlestone - with no little encouragement from the crowd - tried his luck from all of 35 yards and was not far off before it alll changed three minutes before the break.
Berbatov was the creative force, but there was still plenty to do when Defoe turned his marker inside out and fired past Kirkland to level.
Just over a minute later the Lane joy was doubled when Benoit Assou-Ekotto cooly picked out Berbatov charging down the left flank and the Bulgarian nutmegged Matt Jackson and left him stranded in his wake before curling a precise effort high beyond Kirkland and into the net.
It was a welcome change of circumstances, not to mention a swift one.
Jackson was nearly involved in another goal early in the second period when he latched onto a Berbatov cross and Kirkland had to make a smart save to prevent an own goal in a spell of home dominance.
Berbatov was really in the groove and it was his smooth combination with Lennon that set up Defoe for another shooting chance, this time blasted over. A Lennon dart later came close to teeing up the impressive Malbranque to open his Spurs account, but his out-stretched leg could not quite make contact with the low cross of the England man.
Defoe was sacrificed to make way for Keane with eight minutes left on the clock - the vice-skipper coming within inches of making it three in stoppage time - as the team sought to secure the deposit of a three further home points in our Premiership account.
They were adding in style in the final moments when Malbranque set Berabtov galloping down the left, with his cut back being directed perfectly into the path of Lennon who dispatched with ease past Kirkland.
It was a decent performance at the end of another busy week where UEFA Cup progress was also ensured. The team will actually enjoy a clear week now before taking the short trip to you know where on early Saturday afternoon...
Jermain Defoe marked his 100th Premiership appearance in our colours with a goal that contributed towards a 3-1 win over Wigan at the Lane.It was a 32nd Premiership goal for the Club scored by the little hitman and it came at a welcome point, with Wigan leading through Henri Camara's strike.