Jobi McAnuff's second-half equaliser salvaged a well-deserved point for Wimbledon and dented Alan Pardew's hopes of recording his first win as West Ham manager.
The newly instated Hammers boss has now gone seven games without a win since he took charge of the club last month.
And more worrying for Pardew is that the club are now without a victory in their last nine games and are slowly seeing their promotion hopes fall by the wayside.
Despite handing an immediate debut to prolific forward Marlon Harewood from Nottingham Forest, West Ham lacked the cutting edge which saw them struggle to beat a Wimbledon side rooted to the foot of the table.
Wimbledon dominated the first-half exchanges and could have opened the scoring after just six minutes.
Patrick Agyemang's cross from the left fell perfectly for Nigel Reo-Coker inside the box, but his close-range header flicked just over the crossbar.
But it was West Ham who broke the deadlock on 51 minutes. Michael Carricks's deflected shot fell kindly into the path of Brian Deane who made no mistake firing a sweet right-foot shot into the corner of the net.
And they could have doubled their lead on 57 minutes when David Connolly's throughball released Kevin Horlock clean through on goal, but he dragged his shot inches past the post.
But Wimbledon got their just rewards when they grabbed an equaliser on 62 minutes when Adam Nowland cut the ball back for McAnuff who slid the ball past the stranded James.
And Stuart Murdoch's side could have claimed all three points when James pulled off a spectacular double save on 81 minutes.
McAnuff was involved in the heart of the action when he fired a 25-yard drive which was superbly pushed away by James. The rebound fell to Agyemang, but his shot produced another fine reflex save from the England number one.