Client drops packet from server when SNAT is not enabled at Load Balancer

I understand that one reason we use SNAT on a load balancer for incoming requests is so that the response packet from server will go through the load balancer, where the source IP of returning packet gets modified to Load Balancer IP, so that the client recognizes it and accepts the response.

My question is, for the mechanism that the client drops the packet from the server it does not “recognize”, is that a network-layer mechanism or a TCP mechanism? Should be a TCP mechanism, right? As TCP maintains a “connection”, where the client expects to see the response from the IP it wants to talk to.

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