All the goals came in a frenetic first half. Corner kicks were Brighton's undoing as Palace's first came from a well-worked routine finished off by Wilfried Zaha, before another corner caused chaos in the box and James Tomkins doubled the lead.
Glenn Murray responded for Brighton but Zaha restored Palace's cushion with a header past Mat Ryan. Jose Izquierdo scored again for the visitors, but Palace held on after the interval.
FT: After battling hard for an equaliser in the second half, the Seagulls are unable to find one and fall to a 3-2 defeat against @CPFC at Selhurst Park. Goals from Zaha (2) and Tomkins came amongst strikes from Murray and Izquierdo in the first half. #CPFC 3 #BHAFC 2 #CRYBHA pic.twitter.com/kPb9tAJhlu— Brighton & Hove Albion ⚽️ (@OfficialBHAFC) April 14, 2018
Hughton praised his team's second half response, but lamented their unusually bad defending for the goals.
“We arguably had the two best chances in that second half, to get an equaliser or a winner," Hughton told Seagulls TV. "But you can’t give away the goals that we gave away in the earlier period of the game.
“It was uncharacteristic, because they were two goals from corners and we’ve been very good from corners since the West Brom game. It’s about responsibility at set plays - you can have clever movement from players in the box, but it’s about making sure you adjust to that and take responsibility.”
📝 Chris Hughton on Albion's 3-2 defeat...— Brighton & Hove Albion ⚽️ (@OfficialBHAFC) April 14, 2018
🗨️ “We arguably had the two best chances in that second half, to get an equaliser or a winner. But you can’t give away the goals that we gave away in the earlier period of the game."#BHAFC 🔶⚫️
Read ➡️ https://t.co/KGMnFgpkQW pic.twitter.com/s4cWGeLd2k
Brighton were much improved in the second period, but they didn't fashion too many clear-cut opportunities and couldn't find a way past Wayne Hennessey. Hughton took heart from the second half display, but admitted that his team were second best.
“The best thing about our game was the second-half performance, which was a performance that gave us chances towards the end that certainly could have given us an equaliser," he said.
“Whether we deserved that over the balance of the 90 minutes? Probably not - because they were always a threat."
Brighton are still stuck on 35 points and face a tough fixture on Tuesday when they welcome Tottenham to the Amex Stadium.