Spurs playmaker Luka Modric, with only two substitute appearances under his belt since fracturing a fibula in August, struck 11 minutes into the clash as he turned home Aaron Lennon’s cross, with Scott Parker then limping off for the visitors.
To make matters worse, former Hammers striker Jermain Defoe added a second before the end. Rob Green blocked his initial effort from the edge of the area but the England striker followed it up with a powerful volley which crashed into the top corner.
While West Ham remain in 17th place, Spurs returned to fourth spot and will be boosted by Modric’s return to full fitness.
Boss Harry Redknapp will also be encouraged by four successive clean sheets.