Both strikes came in the second half of an entertaining encounter.
David Nugent gave Pompey the lead only for Defoe to earn Spurs the point which keeps them out of the relegation zone on goal difference.
Portsmouth boss Tony Adams, said, "I was pleased with the boys. They worked hard for me and I thought we deserved a point.
"I thought Sol Campbell was excellent and showed what a good defender he is.
"I was delighted for David (Nugent), he deserved his goal and has been working hard for me on that flank.
"A draw was a fair result. I think they didn't deserve to end up empty handed.
"And we are showing our resilience now which is another pleasing thing for me.''
Spurs chief Harry Redknapp admitted Darren Bent should have won the game at the death, but fired wide when it looked easier to score.
He said: "What can Darren say? He should have scored. David James had given up - but there is nothing you can do. He did not miss on purpose but in the end you're never going to get a better chance than that to win the game.
"Portsmouth played really well, but we showed great character. We lost two players, Roman Pavlyuchenko and Ledley King, but the lads were fantastic."
Tottenham remain in relegation trouble but Redknapp remains confident for the future.
"If we continue to play like that then we will have no problem. We are capable of winning games," he added.