Goals from Nacer Chadli and Christian Eriksen saw us leading 2-1 at the Stadium of Light in a game that was largely dominated by the team in yellow.
A second away win of the season, though, was denied when Jordi Gomez's free kick caused chaos in the box and the ball squirmed in off substitute Harry Kane.
It was a barnstorming start to proceedings at the Stadium of Light with two goals in two minutes setting the tone for a lively encounter.
It was Erik Lamela gliding infield and picking out a remarkably loosely marked Emmanuel Adebayor that led to the opening goal on two minutes. Realising how much time his markers were affording him, the striker elected to shoot and forced a good save at full stretch from Vito Mannone. What the keeper couldn't do was prevent the ball falling nicely for Nacer Chadli to steer home.
The lead didn't last long as Adam Johnson was allowed to embark on a jinking run into the penalty area and, with a little help from a deflection off Younes Kaboul, his shot defeated Hugo Lloris and the score was level.
The momentum was not lost though. Chadli forced Mannone into a scooping save with a low effort from the left of the area, before the keeper was called on again to deny Adebayor after Eriksen picked out the striker with a majestic chip. Adebayor met the chip on the volley but Mannone was out quickly to plant his body in the way of the shot.
The team continued to be slick and stylish in possession, without creating more clear cut openings as the clock ticked towards half-time. Sunderland developed the knack of making last-ditch blocks and interceptions, preventing any reward for some enterprising approach play.
The restored-to-the-team Mousa Dembele unleashed an absolute piledriver that arrowed against the post seven minutes before the break. Chadli then worked himself into a position to restore the lead but was knocked off course just before attempting a shot.
In the second period, again, two minutes into the half, the lead was grabbed again. A low Chadli centre caused considerable 'pinball' style mayhem in the Sunderland back line and Eriksen was in position to poke home the loose ball from a couple of yards out.
The game then became a little cagey for a while before Johnson unleashed from 20-odd yards a shot that flashed wide of the post.
On 69 minutes Mauricio stiffened up his midfield with the introduction of Benji Stambouli in place of Chadli.
Lamela struck the bar on 74 minutes with a dipping shot before Adebayor made way for Harry Kane four minutes later.
It was the unlucky Kane who got the last touch as Gomez's free-kick was whipped in from wide on the left and the ball crept beyond the fingertips of Hugo Lloris.
A trio of free-kicks in five minutes of stoppage time failed to trouble the hosts, who held on to claim a point.
Sunderland: Mannone, Brown, O'Shea, Vergini, van Aanholt, Álvarez (Buckley 66), Rodwell (Gomez 81), Cattermole, Larsson (Giaccherini 66), Johnson, Wickham. Substitutes (not used): Bridcutt, Jones, Pantilimon, Altidore.
Spurs: Lloris; Dier, Chiriches, Kaboul (C), Rose; Capoue, Dembele; Chadli (Stambouli, 71), Eriksen (Lennon, 87), Lamela; Adebayor (Kane, 80). Substitutes (not used): Vorm, Fazio, Naughton, Townsend.
Yellow cards: Sunderland - van Aanholt (85), Vergini (88), Wickham (90), Gómez (93), Brown (95). Spurs - Dier (61).
Goals: Sunderland - Johnson (5), Kane (OG, 82). Spurs - Chadli (3), Eriksen (48).
Referee: Mr C Pawson.