Leeds approached the weekend's clash at Goodison Park looking to build on Wednesday night's epic 3-3 draw at Aston Villa but goals from Seamus Coleman, Michael Keane and Anthony Gordon gave Frank Lampard victory on his first home league game as Everton boss.
The result saw fifth-bottom Everton close to within one point of 15th-placed Leeds, and with a game in hand, although Leeds remain six points clear of the drop zone.
Marcelo Bielsa's side failed to muster a single shot on target, although Rodrigo did crash two fine efforts against the crossbar, and James hit back at suggestions that Leeds were in a bit of trouble.
Asked if the Whites were in a spot of bother in the bottom half, James told LUTV: "No not at all.
"I think we all believe in ourselves, the manager believes in us. It just wasn't our day today."
A bad result for Leeds on Merseyside came on the same weekend that the current bottom three of Norwich City, Watford and Burnley all failed to make any ground on the sides above them.