The England winger tore Wigan apart and set up three goals, two for Defoe, as well as nabbing one himself.
Defoe said: "Azza made the difference. He's so direct. When you've got someone with that pace in the team, he's so direct it's just easy for everyone.
"He gets the ball, you just leave him in a one-on-one and you just get in the box. He put in two fantastic crosses and I made sure my movement was right to get in on the end of them and score.
"Of course we feel for Wigan. Obviously we wanted to win the three points and it was important to do that.
"I spoke to Titus Bramble after the game and obviously they weren't happy, but it's football and it's important for them to regroup and move on to the next game.
"And for us we cannot get complacent. We must go to the next game at Aston Villa and try and get three points again. Winning games brings confidence but to score NINE goals in one game is fantastic for everyone."