Harry Arter's first-half screamer looked like being the matchwinner until James slipped over 25 yards from goal, allowing Andy Williams to claim an 85th-minute equaliser.
Di Canio said: "It is a great point against one of the best sides in the league. I am more proud because my lads were amazing.
"It is an important signal because two months ago we would have lost this game.
"We played good football for the conditions and the occasion, we dominated and had good chances.
"The fact we created four or five clear-cut chances is something amazing and if we can do this away from home it is a fantastic signal.
"We reacted with style, quality and determination."