Second half strikes from Christian Eriksen and Jermain Defoe condemned Palace to defeat at White Hart Lane in the proverbial game of two halves.
Tony Pulis' side had bossed the opening 45 minutes and could easily have led going into the break with Jason Puncheon missing an early penalty, and the failure to score cost them as Spurs showed their class in the second half as they netted twice to seal the victory.
The first half an hour was all about the visitors as Palace began brightly. Only a couple of minutes had gone when Puncheon went close with a snapshot after two minutes but soon after Julian Speroni had to deal with a low Nabil Bentaleb effort but was equal to it.
However the Eagles were gifted a perfect chance to take the lead after eight minutes from the penalty spot. Damien Delaney broke down a Spurs attack and burst forward before releasing Marouane Chamakh, who was clumsily bundled into the back of by Mousa Dembele. Having tucked a spot-kick away on Year's Day against Norwich the responsibility once again fell to Puncheon but he blazed it horribly over the bar from 12 yards.
Despite the setback the game continued to be played in the home side's half. Chamkah headed an awkward chance over the bar from a corner, Cameron Jerome smacked a powerful shot from 25 yards on the turn which forced Hugo Lloris into a sprawling save before Puncheon saw a deflected effort flash the wrong side of the post.
Ten minutes before the break a rare Spurs attack nearly saw them snatch an unlikely lead. Making his first Premier League start Bentaleb attempted to curl the ball into the top corner from 30 yards and saw the ball clatter off Speroni's bar, divert across the face of goal and clip the far post before being cleared.
Having been subdued during the opening half, Tottenham started the second with much more attacking intent. Eriksen saw a shot blocked by a diving Delaney which deflected wide for a corner but five minutes after the restart the Dane was celebrating as he opened the scoring. A long ball forward was flicked on by Emmanuel Adebayor and after pulling the ball down the winger drilled it past Speroni.
Attempting to pull level again, Jerome hit the side netting from a tight angle after Jonathan Parr burst down the flank and substitute Defoe found half a yard of space in the box and looked for the bottom far corner but missed the target by fractions.
But with 18 minutes to go the Toronto-bound striker put the game beyond Palace's reach as he doubled the lead in trademark style. Aaron Lennon put the ball into his feet inside the area and the poacher supreme did he he does best, shielding the ball away from Parr and firing the ball into the net.
In injury time Mile Jedinak saw a header from a corner drift marginally wide of the target, Adlene Guedioura nearly netted a screamer from 30 yards on his return to action and Chamakh saw a header brilliantly saved by Lloris at point-blank range as Palace tasted defeat at White Hart Lane in the Premier League for the first time.
Tottenham: Lloris, Walker, (Naughton 48) Chiriches, Dawson, Rose, Lennon, Dembele, Eriksen (Chadli 76), Bentaleb, Adebayor, Soldado (Defoe 58) Subs not used: Friedel, Holtby, Capoue, Fryers.
Palace: Speroni, Mariappa, Gabbidon, Delaney, Parr, Bolasie (Williams 69), Ward, Jedinak, Puncheon (Guedioura 82), Jerome (Gayle 69), Chamakh. Subs not used: Price, Moxey, O'Keefe, Bannan.