Match ends, Tottenham Hotspur 4, Leicester City 3.
- Kane takes tally to 29 goals for season
- Leicester's Vardy scores first goal since September 2014
- Foxes concede penalty with score at 2-2
- Leicester remain bottom of top flight
Harry Kane's first Premier League hat-trick got Tottenham's challenge for a top-four spot back on track with a hard-fought win over Leicester.
After Hugo Lloris was carried off, Kane slotted home and scored with a deflected shot as Spurs went 2-0 up.
Jamie Vardy steered in an effort before Wes Morgan headed Leicester level.
Kane converted a penalty and Foxes defender Jeff Schlupp scored an own goal as Spurs, despite Nugent's late second strike, held on for victory.
Leicester remain bottom of the table but will feel aggrieved at a controversial penalty decision going against them as referee Mike Dean adjudged Nugent had fouled Danny Rose when the pair collided with the game poised at 2-2.
The Foxes again came away with nothing from a valiant display as they lost an 18th league game out of 29 this season.
Tottenham's credentials had been questioned following the way they wilted at Manchester United last Sunday and, even though they secured three points, they remain unconvincing with their vulnerable defence having let in 14 goals in their last six league games.
Nevertheless, the White Hart Lane side are three points off fourth-placed Manchester United, who play fifth-placed Liverpool on Sunday, and have Kane to thank for keeping their rivals within reach.
Spurs had Lloris carried off on a stretcher four minutes in after right-back Kyle Walker clattered into him trying to tackle Vardy, with Michel Vorm replacing him.
The home side still took the lead two minutes later, as a corner was flicked on at the near post by the boot of Eric Dier and Foxes keeper Kasper Schmeichel could only palm the ball into the path of Kane, who slotted home.
The 21-year-old, called up to the England squad during the week, added his second with a shot which went in via a deflection off Foxes defender Robert Huth.
The home side should have been 3-0 up but Nacer Chadli fired over after Christian Eriksen's shot hit the post.
Leicester manager Nigel Pearson picked an attacking line-up, consisting of three strikers in Vardy, Nugent and Leonardo Ulloa and the move appeared to have backfired.
However, Vardy fired in following a cross from Nugent and Morgan headed in a corner as the visitors took two of the many chances they created to draw their side level.
Leicester were in the ascendancy before referee Dean ruled Nugent had fouled Rose, with Kane making no mistake from the spot as he sent Schmeichel the wrong way.
Schlupp's own goal after an Eriksen effort struck Schmeichel and bounced in off him looked to have put Tottenham out of reach but the visitors refused to give in.
Nugent scored an injury-time goal but Leicester did not have enough time to salvage something from the game.
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino:
"It was a very tough game. We suffered until the end of the game because we conceded a third goal.
"We knew before the game that Leicester are a very good team. I think they deserve more. It was a very tough game and I am happy with the result because three points was very important after the defeat at Manchester United.
"It (Kane's hat-trick) was great. I am happy for him and the team. Now to look forward and keep going.
"We need to improve because we conceded three goals."
Speaking about the injury to Lloris, he added: "He's in hospital with the doctor and we wait for news.
"He got a big cut on the tendon of his knee. We hope it's nothing big."
Leicester boss Nigel Pearson:
"I'm a bit tired of having people's sympathy. We have made mistakes but there was an awful lot of positive aspects of our performance.
"Unfortunately, the game's big talking point will be another contentious decision that we are on receiving end of again.
"We stayed in the game and stretched them until the very end. But we have to start winning games, it is as simple as that.
"We've got to try to get to the last five games well in touch because four of them are at home."
- 1LlorisSubstituted forVormat 4'minutes
- 3RoseBooked at 78mins
- 38MasonSubstituted forDembéléat 88'minutes
- 17TownsendSubstituted forPaulinhoat 58'minutes
- 22ChadliBooked at 32mins
- 2de Laet
- 14HuthSubstituted forMahrezat 76'minutes
- 6UpsonSubstituted forWasilewskiat 45'minutes
- 35NugentBooked at 48mins
- 19CambiassoSubstituted forKingat 86'minutes
- Mike Dean
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Tottenham Hotspur 4, Leicester City 3.
Corner, Tottenham Hotspur. Conceded by Jeffrey Schlupp.
Goal! Tottenham Hotspur 4, Leicester City 3. David Nugent (Leicester City) right footed shot from outside the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Jamie Vardy with a headed pass following a fast break.
Corner, Tottenham Hotspur. Conceded by Andy King.
Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Mousa Dembélé replaces Ryan Mason.
Substitution, Leicester City. Andy King replaces Esteban Cambiasso.
Own Goal by Jeffrey Schlupp, Leicester City. Tottenham Hotspur 4, Leicester City 2.
Attempt saved. Christian Eriksen (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Paulinho with a through ball.
Corner, Tottenham Hotspur. Conceded by Wes Morgan.
Attempt missed. Marcin Wasilewski (Leicester City) header from very close range is too high. Assisted by Riyad Mahrez with a cross following a set piece situation.
Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur).
Matthew James (Leicester City) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Kyle Walker.
Substitution, Leicester City. Riyad Mahrez replaces Robert Huth.
Attempt missed. Nacer Chadli (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is too high. Assisted by Eric Dier with a cross.
Offside, Leicester City. Marcin Wasilewski tries a through ball, but Leonardo Ulloa is caught offside.
Foul by Nabil Bentaleb (Tottenham Hotspur).
Leonardo Ulloa (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.